Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 93

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Archive 92 Archive 93 Archive 94

a TV show as a source for a article of the same TV show

I need help to understand the policies in wikipedia, if we have a article of a TV show, can I use the show as a source? Can I say that since I saw that this happened it did, can claim that this is a source for the article, if that statement is challenged what should happen? I thought that it was against the main idea behind sources in Wikipedia to use the topic as a source for the article of the topic, but I have a hard time finding any policy that . Or how should a article like that be source, I checked some 'good' examples and none of them used the show itself as source. Either answer here in general or if you want to read the specific case please see Talk:Top Chef (season 8). I am getting to frustrated with the whole situation and I'm starting to starting to worry that I have misunderstood what a RS really is and need to rethink how sources work in Wikipedia, any advice is appreciated. --Stefan talk 09:19, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I read through the discussion there. Yes, the TV show can be used as a source for plot and some non-controversial information. In this case, I think the issue of whether or not a person won a challenge is not clear, since on the show they generally declare a winner unambiguously. And they have pulled "last minute" unexpected changes in the past. But there are RSs that name him a winner. My suggestion would be to split the difference and work into the article that although not proclaimed the winner on the show, sources X and Y label him as such. But this is not an issue worthy of lengthly debate as the matter will be settled soon, and we're not finishing WP today. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A TV show can only be used as a source if it is verifiable - so a live TV show is not acceptable as a source, but a TV show that is often repeated on TV or is available on DVD/VHS is.
  • A TV show is a primary source for itself. You can only use it for facts about what happened in the TV show, who the cast and crew were stated to be in the credits, and that kind of thing. You cannot pass comment or interpret - only secondary sources may do that. So a secondary source is acceptable for a comparison between the show and the Cuban Missile Crisis, a primary source is not. If you want to quote what a character said in the show, try to get hold of the script, as people can argue about what the character actually said in the show.
  • A lot of people are very uncomfortable with using TV shows as sources, even when the shows are available on commercial DVDs. They argue that not everyone has them. That argument does not stack up. Not everyone has a copy of Edition XXX of a scientific journal - but peer reviewed-scientific journals are considered good sources. You should expect resistance if you quote TV shows as sources. "The principle of verifiability implies nothing about ease of access to sources" (WP:SOURCEACCESS).
  • If you are going to cite a TV show, you will need to be specific just like you would in a book - you would not cite War and Peace by Tolstoy as a source - but you might cite page 59 of the Wordsworth Classics October 2001 paperback edition. You will need to be appropriately specific for the information you are citing - don't expect someone to have to watch Episode 5 six times to find the bit that you mean.
  • Note that TV shows in general have a poor reputation for checking the facts. So WP:NOTRELIABLE would seem to apply. An article should not be based primarily on such sources.
  • Before you do anything, read Wikipedia:Reliable sources very carefully, and look at related pages such as Wikipedia:Verifiability#Reliable_sources.--Toddy1 (talk) 10:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
A published source can be used as a source about that same published source, but it might not always be ideal if the subject matter is controversial. Be careful about self serving information for example. We want to avoid turning WP into an ad.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:37, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing controversial about the outcome of the episode: there was no winner declared, and several editors agree on that point. The show generally, but not always, selects the judges' three favorite dishes, from which they select a winning chef who wins some sort of prize (winning having no cumulative effect on the outcome of the show), and they select the judges' three least favorite dishes, from which they select the chef to be eliminated. But there is precedent for the show changing how the win/lose process takes place, and even for them not to eliminate a chef in a given episode. The selection of a winner of any given episode has no effect on a given chef's chances of being eliminated in a subsequent episode; it's a balance to the elimination that heightens the competition, allows chefs to win prizes and furthers the show's "mission" to maximize product/chef promotion. There's no impact on the show or its outcome whatsoever if a winner is not selected.
Which brings us to the place we find ourselves now. In this episode, the final two (of three) chefs are selected for the final episode. One chef (Richard) was advanced to the finals by the judges (not declared the winner), and the remaining two were given one final "Hail Mary" challenge which would gain one of them the second place in the final. The episode went on with the challenge, the second chef selected for the final, the third eliminated and no mention of a winner. The problem arose later when several editors attempted to infer that Richard was the winner from his having been selected first to go to the final. I'd argue there are other, equally valid, explanation for why that was done, not the least of which being to better serve the last-chance challenge; I could also make an argument about Richard's temperament and his reaction to some earlier events leading to the show's approach to the selection of the finalists that would be too long winded. The point is, his having won is not the only feasible explanation for how event rolled. And it's all academic anyway, because all we have that's reliably sourced and doesn't constitute original is what we saw: Richard was first selected for the final, but not declared the winner.
Complicating matters are a external food blogs (which were easily put in perspective) and the network's own website for the show. It has a rather odiously titled "Cheftestant Scorecard" which keeps track of the winners and who was eliminated. Despite Richard not having been declared the winner, he was placed in the winner's box on the scorecard. This then leads to a celebrity chef doing a cooking demo of his dish. It's easy to see what they're doing: they have to have a dish for the chef to cook each week, so they had to go with Richard's this week. The error was in describing him as winner when he wasn't declared winner, although you can see how they would do that for clarity and economy of speech. Trouble is these two website features, plus comments by a judge that Richard's dish was best are being synthesized to somehow suggest the show did declare him a winner and didn't say so. It should be apparent that it's a stretch based on synthesis of three questionably reliable sources. Regardless, the show is, and should be, the definitive source, and there was no declaration of a winner on camera.
Nuujinn, with all due respect, this is an accuracy issue that won't be best served by some sort of compromise. Both the progress table and the narrative note that there was no winner selected, but that Richard was first selected for the final episode. That is a complete, accurate and verifiable accounting of the outcome. Anything else is cobbled together from inferences, judges after-the-fact comments and the content of a website designed to promote the show, and does not rise to an encyclopedic standard of evidence. That the website belongs to the network broadcasting the show does not, in and of itself, make the entire content of the website reliable. We have to be critical in our evaluation of sources at times, and determine whether what we want to draw from a source is reliable; even the most unimpeachable source makes mistakes. That's where we find ourselves with the Bravo website, particularly given its post-episode content contradicts the episode. Drmargi (talk) 16:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Arxiv lecture notes

Collapsed because of outing issues

I believe that it is settled that arXiv is not a reliable source. There appears to be a difference of opinion at N = 2 superconformal algebra as to whether a set of 1998 lecture notes recently published on arxiv, namely Wassermann, A. J. (2010) [1998], Lecture notes on Kac-Moody and Virasoro algebras, is a reliable source for the assertion that "The physical states lie in a single orbit of the affine Weyl group, which again implies the Weyl–Kac character formula for the affine Kac–Moody algebra of G." As far as I can tell these notes have never been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the assertion is mentioned in the notes only by reference to unublished work of Goddard. Can this be a reliable source for the statement? The same notes appear in the references to Kac–Moody algebra and Virasoro algebra‎ but since they are not used to support any assertions there (as far as I can tell), presumably they should simply be moved to a "Further Reading" section? Julian Birdbath (talk) 06:35, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Julian Birdbath appears to be a sockpuppet account of A.K.Nole. A whole tranch of IPs was blocked by ArbCom on March 3rd just before this account became active, precisely because of this type of editing. The same checkuser on ArbCom who blocked the tranch of IPs has already been alerted to the new disruptive editing by this account, which I assume will soon be blocked. Since the editor is involved in some outing issues, which need not be spelled out, it is also likely that the edits above are oversighted. A.K.Nole (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has had multiple accounts which have been followed by a checkuser on ArbCom. This posting is typical of the trolling and disruption he has caused in the past. The lecture notes were added by one of the most senior mathematical editors on wikipedia and in real life one of the world experts on these particular topics. I would advise any editors or administrators to leave this user alone until the checkuser on ArbCom and oversight has dealt with them. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 07:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The question was, and is: Is there a reliable source for the assertion "The physical states lie in a single orbit of the affine Weyl group, which again implies the Weyl–Kac character formula for the affine Kac–Moody algebra of G."? If there is, presumably one of the most senior mathematical editors on wikipedia and one of the world experts on these particular topics can put their heads together and find it. As far as I understand the rest of this, it seems either wrong or irrelevant. Julian Birdbath (talk) 07:54, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Not about sources
Per WP:DUCK and previous edits of exactly this kind by a now blocked range of IPs, you have self identified as a sockpuppet account of A.K.Nole. You asked the identical trolling question as an IP on my talk page a week or two ago. The whole set of vodafone IPs that you were using was blocked for three months by a member of ArbCom. I don't imagine that your account will be active for very much longer. Charles Matthews described A.K.Nole's editing as mathematically naive and confused: nothing much has changed except that the UK user editing as A.K.Nole/Quotient group/Junior Wrangler/Zarboublian might be a little older than when Charles made those comments. The account still seems to be obsessed with stalking and making superficial mathematical edits to cover that stalking. Mathsci (talk) 09:58, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Mr. Birdbath appears to be indiscriminately removing references that have a free link to ArXiV regardless of whether these references appeared in the peer-reviewed literature, or whether the papers were published by notable experts on the subject (e.g., he finds Grigori Perelman's ArXiV papers objectionable in an article about the Geometrization conjecture, which is simply ludicrous). I have corrected most of the damage, I think. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Sławomir will have noticed that I started a section at Talk:Geometrization conjecture precisely to discuss that very issue. I did not say they were objectionable, but I will say they are primary for an evaluation of Perelman's work and of course as secondary they are not peer-reviewed. What is needed is an authoritative independent peer-reviewed account of the work. If Sławomir knows of one, please would he disclose it? By "undo damage" I think he means "disagree about the inherent reliability of certain authors". Mathsci's comments seem not to be directed to the issue in hand and it is hard to make sense of them: he seems to be evading the question. Julian Birdbath (talk) 14:53, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
By undo the damage, I mean reversing you removal of references to the peer reviewed mathematics literature, like the American Mathematical Monhly and the Mathematical Intelligencer, and restoring references to preprints and notes published by uncontested experts that were indiscriminately removed. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:04, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
For more context, see WP:SPS, especially the part about experts being considered reliable. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:22, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, there are several independent published peer-reviewed reviews of Perelman's work already cited in the geometrization conjecture article, so it is disingenuous to suggest that there are none. Hundreds, maybe thousands, more can undoubtedly be found, but there doesn't seem to be an urgent need to add more. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Does an unpublished and non peer-reviewed paper on the ArXiv constitute a reliable source (the Perelman case would be an exception as it amply supported by a multitude of other sources)? The ArXiv has the advantage of being freely accessible but standards of inclusion of papers in the ArXiv, although they do exist, are very low, and once a person is admitted as a contributor, often because of historical reasons or because of institutional affiliation, they can submit almost anything without challenge. If a paper were published in an established refereed journal, that would make it a reliable source and an ArXiv paper that had been published in such a venue could be accepted as a RS. The issue comes up in the Paul Dirac article where an IP from Slovenia has inserted an unpublished Arxiv paper from authors in Slovenia. Of course, the issue of something being a RS is quite different to the issue of whether the item is notable or relevant. What do editors think in general and in respect to the Dirac article? Xxanthippe (talk) 01:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC).
I think the thread below might offer at least a partial answer to this question (although I don't entirely agree with some aspects of the assessment of ArXiV). So I'll just summarize my own point of view. If the author of the paper is an expert on the subject or the paper is also published in the peer-reviewed literature, then per our WP:SPS, it can be considered as a reliable source. In any event, in the case you describe, the author seems to fail the "expert test", and the edit probably also fails on other counts (COI, OR, etc.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:41, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Summing up the portions relating to the original question and on-topic for this discussion board. Mathsci, origical contributor of the reference, asserts that Wassermann is "one of the world experts on these particular topics", and that Birdbath is "mathematically naive" and unqualified to judge. Is there any other opinion, and is this enough to say that an Arxiv posting by Wassermann is an WP:SPS which still qualifies as reliable because Wassermann is "an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications"? Southend sofa (talk) 10:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Given than Wassermann has published work on the subject in Inventiones Mathematicae, one of the very top journals in mathematics, and has published several papers on this very subject elsewhere, the answer seems to me to be "yes". He also collaborated with Vaughan Jones on the subject, taught a Cambridge part III course and an MSRI course on the subject. He is clearly regarded by the community as an expert. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:40, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, I think that settles this particular issue, thanks. Southend sofa (talk) 16:59, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Arxiv in general

Without commenting on the specific issues above, it has been agreed several time, at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_63#Nature_Precedings, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_77#Interpretation_of_WP:SPS for example, that arxiv is in general not a reliable source per WP:SPS. I would expand that by saying arxiv is deficient in authority (almost anyone can post), authenticity (weak control over the true identity of those posting), accuracy (no checking or review) and stability (differing versions may be posted at any time). It does score well on availability of course. Of course SPS has an exception for an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications but this would have to be established on a case-by-case basis. One might use the checklist at Wikipedia:Reliable_source_examples#arXiv_preprints_and_conference_abstracts. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 07:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

You are definitely wrong about stability. It's almost impossible to withdraw an arXiv paper, and it's completely impossible to change it once it's published. The only thing you can do is publish a new version, but the old versions always remain accessible. It's also possible to cite a specific version. Hans Adler 21:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Why was I wrong? I said "differing versions may be posted at any time" and that is true. Arxiv papers can be, and are, withdrawn: consider, for example, 1102.3648 for which version 2 dated Wed, 16 Mar 2011 15:11:03 GMT states This paper has been withdrawn. It took me only a couple of minutes to find this entirely random example. If you don't cite version 1 by number then the content of the current version changes under your feet (radically in this example); if you do cite version 1 then you are citing something the author is no longer prepared to vouch for. It is possible, but extremely rare, for conventional journals to modify content: it seems to be quite usual for arxiv, which is more of a collaboration tool than a journal of record. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 22:16, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't buy this. For those arXiv papers which we can legitimately cite it's no more of an issue than for journal papers. The withdrawn paper in your example remains available simply by clicking "Version 1". But we probably don't want to continue using a citation to a withdrawn paper anyway. That's not a stability issue. A stability issue is when a website suddenly disappears (like GeoCities), reforms its structure in such a way that all the old links break, or changes articles without noting the fact. ArXiv is free from these problems. Hans Adler 23:13, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems very unlikely that we would want to use a paper that the author has withdrawn. The consensus is that an Arxiv preprint is like a preprint posted on an author's web page at his university: a self-published source. It starts off with a modest degree of assurance that the author is who they say they are and that they are not a complete outsider but the mode of publication conveys almost no assurance that the paper is correct: in particular it has not been subject to anything like peer review. The credibility of the paper, and its acceptability as a reliable source, comes from the reputation of the author, and does not derive in any way from the mode of publication -- this is quite different to a scholarly journal article, where the journal and its editors and referees stand behind the paper. If an author is not prepared to stand behind a preprint any longer, and withdraws it, its value as a source goes down to zero: the availability of the repudiated version is hardly an issue at that point, its credibility has vanished. This happens frequently, and is perfectly normal. It seems to me that Arxiv preprints, like preprints on personal pages, are far more subject to significant change or withdrawal than papers in mainstream journals: I found that example on Arxiv in a few minutes, I see a change or withdrawal in a journal perhaps once in a few years. Is there really evidence that withdrawal or major modification of Arxiv preprints is "no more of an issue than for journal papers"?
As to stability - since we are using the word in different ways (I am talking about the content of the preprints, you about the website as a whole) it is not too surprising that we have come to different conclusions. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 07:37, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for this helpful comment. Xxanthippe (talk) 08:36, 17 March 2011 (UTC).
It's most important to use good judgment. Many ArXiV preprints have been published in the peer reviewed literature (that's most of the issue in the above thread), and it is important to determine if this is the case before branding them as unreliable sources. Although the ArXiV publication field often shows where the paper appears, it is not always the case and one frequently needs to do a google scholar search to see if the paper has been published elsewhere. Similar care should be exercised in determining if someone is an expert. It can sometimes be difficult to determine this, but in the cases I was referring to above, there is very little question about it: George Lusztig is a world-renowned expert on affine Hecke algebras, Zoltan Szabo and his long-time collaborator Peter Oszvath are world-renowned experts in gauge theory, Borwein, Borwein, and Plouffe are reliable sources (at least, as primary sources) on their eponymous algorithm, and so on. So, I generally think it is a good idea to exercise every bit of caution when removing references to ArXiV, which is the issue in the above thread, although I prefer not to add references to ArXiV myself except in very limited circumstances. As a general rule of thumb, things that are obviously wacky can be removed without careful consideration: there is plenty of garbage of this kind on Wikipedia to clean up. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater: if something doesn't seem like bollocks or WP:OR, then check google scholar and check the authors to give it the benefit of the doubt. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:00, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, I disagree with the issue about weak control over identity of those posting. I think this reflects a common misconception about the ArXiV, that posting is just as easy as posting to any other web space, with no safeguards to content and identity. But ArXiV does take a number of measures to authenticate posters (I know because I was shocked at what I had to go through for an account recovery after moving to a different institution and losing my password). These include: (1) the email address of the poster must be a university account corresponding to the claimed individual, with the claimed university affiliation, (2) individuals who have not posted before need to be "endorsed" by someone else. These two requirements are perhaps only slightly less than someone publishing in the peer reviewed literature, so if one is worried about impostors on ArXiV, one should probably also be worried about impostors in the regular literature as well. (In fact, in some ways it is probably easier to publish under a false name in the peer reviewed literature: Nicolas Bourbaki as one of the most famous examples, but there are others.) Finally, the ArXiV is a mainstream source with many eyes reading it: if there were an impostor, it would likely be detected by readers almost immediately. So I don't find the weak authenticity to be a legitimate concern. Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
More excellent advice. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC).
Additionally, it is considered very bad form to post crap on the arxiv, and doing so does affect one's reputation. The vast majority of arxiv preprints are fine and can be treated on the same level as blog entries written by experts. If a particular entry is contentious, or goes against accepted viewpoints in the field, then one would probably need a better source than an arxiv preprint. But it would be utterly ludicrous to go on an arxiv purge (and so terribly damaging to Wikipedia on physics and maths), especially when used to support non-controversial material. Arxiv citations should be updated to journal citations post-publication, but that's just part of keeping an article up-to-date and general cleanup. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 06:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I entirely agree that Arxiv is like a blog, although I think, in view of the comments made above, it would be best to treat an arxiv preprint as if it had been published on a academic's page at a university. There is a certain presumption that the author is who they says he are and that they are not complete outsiders, but the material is not checked, and it is not stable. The question is not whether it is "crap" but whether it is reliable. The answer has to be, in general, no. The reliability depends on (and reflects on) the author and their reputation. There are cases of even highly eminent people publishing preprints that are later withdrawn or modified. In general, if an arxiv preprint is intended for ultimate publication in a peer-reviewed journal, there is no reason not to wait until it is published after a process of checking and review. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 06:27, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Murder of Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran

There are three very questionable sources here that are being used to blame the attack upon Palestinians. Each of these three books, Encyclopedia of terrorismChronologies of modern terrorism and Aliya, all claim that Palestinians committed the crime, while in real life no one has been charged with the crime, and no one has taken responsibility for the crime. For this, I believe these books are spouting lies and cannot be used as sources for facts. For more information please see the talk page. Thanks, Passionless -Talk 17:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

the first book was published by an academic publishing house (Sage) and written by a subject matter expert _ a professor of criminal justice at a well known research university. It moreover won several awards as "best reference book". If you think such a source is not reliable for facts, you need to spend more time reading relevant policies, and less time perpetuating an apparent feud you have with the article's creator. Rym torch (talk) 18:35, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
This book also makes claims which seem to go against the real world with no source to back up their claims. And again, I ask you Rym to stop hounding me. Passionless -Talk 01:03, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Dilemmas of weak states seems to clearly fit our definition of Reliable Source, as well. If there are other Reliable Sources contradicting these books I think a better venue to sort it all out would be the Neutral point of view Noticeboard. Qrsdogg (talk) 04:04, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
These sources all appear to meet the basic requirements of WP:RS; they're published by reputable publishing houses, and the authors are generally academics or journalists. One book in particular, as pointed out, won awards. Also, it's perfectly fine to argue that a source is inaccurate, but to claim a book is "spouting lies" is a WP:BLP violation directed at the book's author(s). Please don't do it again. Jayjg (talk) 00:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
My intention was only to call the books inaccurate, I'm not sure how different that is from lying and I do not see how I could possibly violate BLP since this is not article space, but it does not matter as I'm leaving this matter in OhioStandard's more capable hands. Passionless -Talk 04:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that's...not a BLP issue. Not how it works. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Saying someone made a mistake is quite different from calling them a liar. And WP:BLP applies everywhere on Wikipedia; as the policy states, BLP applies to all material about living persons anywhere on Wikipedia, including talk pages, edit summaries, user pages, images, and categories. So yeah, it is a BLP issue, and that is how it works. Please don't do this again. Jayjg (talk) 23:44, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad you think I'm capable, Passionless, and I appreciate your kindness in saying so, but I nevertheless have to say that Jayjg is right to object. Even if you believe the mistakes in these sources are the result of bias, as you evidently do, to say that they are "spouting lies" in an already polarized area just throws fuel on the fire.  – OhioStandard (talk) 09:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
We have a single unreferenced sentence about the killings in the 2003 book Encyclopedia of terrorism that attributes it to both Islamic Jihad and a different group, described as a Palestinian splinter group of Hezbollah. A 2004 book, Dilemmas Of Weak States includes two unreferenced sentences about the killings, the first of which incorrectly identifies one of the boys' place of residence. The second sentence says that both Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah-Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack but, again, no reference is provided for the statement. Another unreferenced single-sentence mention in the 2007 book Chronologies of modern terrorism blames Islamic Jihad. A short passage in a fourth book, Aliya, also published in 2007, attributes the murders to "Palestinian cattle rustlers" that the boys came upon by chance, and the author describes this imagined encounter from the perspective of an omniscient observer, as if it were fact. ( Around 100 goats were stolen the same night the boys were murdered. ) That's a high-quality source if ever there was one.
It's my opinion that these single-sentence assertions in compilations of Israeli victims, with no indication given as to what the assertions might be based on cannot be taken as proof of anything. Perhaps they were based on the only news report I'm aware of that says any group claimed responsibility, a single Jerusalem Post article that appears to be contradicted by a subsequent one. The JP said that other news agencies had received calls from a single anonymous person claiming responsibility for his group. ( But I've been able to find no other report of that, and no agency that actually claimed to have received such a call. If, as that one JP article reported, other news agencies received such calls, they would certainly have reported them if they'd found them credible. ) If these books were based on that, they should have said so. And if they had any other evidence, besides that JP article, or beyond preceding books that might also have been based on it, then they should have presented that. Some of these books may be reliable for other things, not for this.  – OhioStandard (talk) 03:53, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I added the sources about anonymous call to the article's talk page
An anonymous phone caller claimed the murders were in revenge for the death of a four-month-old Palestinian baby hit by shrapnel during bombardment of Gaza
An anonymous caller to Reuters claimed responsibility for the boys killings in the name of an Islamic militant group, saying they were to avenge the death of the four-month baby and an Islamic Jihad militant on Saturday.
Besides there was the Koby Mandell Act voted upon and approved by US Congress.--Mbz1 (talk) 04:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what your last sentence has to do with whether these are reliable sources for this purpose or not, but I've responded to your statements on the talk page (permalink). I suggest we keep our discussion there from this point forward, rather than duplicating it here.  – OhioStandard (talk) 04:52, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
If you are to read Koby Mandell Act's section you might be able to understand that I mentioned it, as yet another RS that confirms the murder was committed by terrorists.--Mbz1 (talk) 05:52, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Er, no, it doesn't. That isn't how WP:RS works. If the passage of these measures is to be taken as indicating anything, it's that some U.S. Congresspeople believed that the murder was committed by terrorists. But even that might still be original research. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

OhioStandard, it seems you are making a rational argument about why the published claims might not be correct or true. This is fine in the right place, but on Wikipedia, for better or worse we set ourselves the lower aim of summarizing what sources with a reasonable reputation say. When the sources meet notability and reliability requirements they CAN be used, but then a valid question in all such controversial cases will be how to present information in a balanced and neutral way. See WP:TRUTH. Generally you won't get reliable and notable material removed the way Wikipedia works, and so efforts to do this can lead to frustration on all sides. A more constructive discussion that you could have, and which is much more likely to lead to a good consensus, is about the weight the material should be given and whether it should be given with attribution ("according to some sources..." type wording). Attribution is often a good way to put an intelligent cautiousness into articles about controversial subjects.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

WP:RS says this: "The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context." Isn't it saying that we, as editors, can examine a source, irrespective of whether it's otherwise reputable, to see how well is supports the assertion? If there's no corroboration in the source, or even any indication where the information came from, it does seem appropriate to question whether it's an acceptable source in a given context. If my understanding is correct, then OhioStandard has a point. However, as Andrew notes, attempting to remove these sources could lead to frustration and a more workable solution might be to contextualize the assertion so that the reader understands that there's some question regarding the issue. TimidGuy (talk) 10:44, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Tim, good point. A question sometimes raised is whether we common sense doubts about the quality of a part of a clearly reliable source can be relevant during a discussion about correct weighting. I believe the answer is unavoidably yes, because this is part of selecting how to use sources, and what parts of sources to use, and judgement and discussion are critical in all such cases. Rules can not be written to get around this and tell us how to use sources or else we'd have to just paraphrase all parts of all sources. But in practice totally removing all mention of a reliable and notable source is not normally a workable option, especially if the part of the source under discussion is not a side subject within that source and is being proposed by other Wikipedians in a good faith way with clear rationale.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Andrew and Tim; I appreciate your lights on this, very much. Just to clarify, though, I hadn't proposed removing the books as sources, although I'd considered that with respect to Aliya, at least. My first thought had rather been to provide their context, as Tim has suggested.
That seems crucially and indisputably needed re the Aliya book, anyway. That book's wholly unreferenced assertion that the two murder victims "came upon a group of Palestinian cattle rustlers" who killed them is pure invention, as is its assertion that the killers wrote "anti-Semitic screeds" in blood on the walls of the cave where the bodies were found.
It's true that 100 goats were stolen the night the boys were killed, and that there was speculation that the crimes could have been related. But that's all it was, speculation, as were all theories of this unsolved crime, actually. No other source, among the dozens I've seen that report on this tragedy, says anything at all about any anti-Semitic writings, in blood or any other medium, either. Nor do authorities know where the boys were killed, whether in the cave or elsewhere, and the identities of the assailants are likewise unknown. As USA Today reported several weeks after these admittedly horrific murders, and after the flurry of accusations against Palestinians made by political figures in the 48 hours following the discovery of the bodies had subsided a bit, "Israeli police do not know who killed the teens."
The author of Aliya clearly saw media reports about the widely publicized crimes when they occurred, and appears to have narrated her very vague recollection of the events six years later without re-checking published reports. Her book is not a scholarly work at all, and she presents her narrative as if it were an actual and fact-based retelling of the events, which it most emphatically is not. I'd welcome your thoughts about how to deal with this as a source; thanks again for those you've expressed already.  – OhioStandard (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
PS: I now find that the Encyclopedia of Terrorism misreports the ages of the victims, as did the JP article its single sentence could (?) be based on. It also identifies the village where the kids were killed as "the Jewish settlement" when, in fact, the West Bank village had 40 Jewish families as new arrivals to the long-existing Palestinian village of roughly 250 families in total. It further identifies both boys as holding American citizenship, when only one did. Finally, it asserts that the boys were killed in the cave where their bodies were found, when police said explicitly that they didn't know whether the boys had been killed there or elsewhere. Four significant errors in the one sentence that mentions the tragedy make it hard for me to accept this book as a reliable source for this purpose.
Similarly, the Dilemmas of Weak States book also mentions the village of Tekoa as only a "Jewish settlement", and describes one of the victims as being "of Silver Spring, MD", when in fact he and his family had been living in Israel for at least five years, and in the village of Tekoa for over two years at the time of his death. Chronologies of Modern Terrorism also gets the boys' ages wrong ( one was 13, not 14 ), incorrectly gives the date the bodies were discovered as the date they were killed, asserts that they were killed in the cave when that is unknown, and also identifies the Palestinian village where they lived as only "the West Bank settlement of Tekoa".
I'm sorry to belabor these errors, but I've rarely seen anyone insist on claiming such inaccurate and highly-abbreviated sources as "reliable" before, and if they're not to be removed, then I'm not quite sure how to offer the caveats that I think candor requires us to present to our readers. Any suggestions you have about how to do that would also be most welcome. Thanks again for your helpful comments.  – OhioStandard (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Late-edit: My criticism of these sources re not identifying Tekoa as a Palestinian village might be misplaced. I'm still not sure I understand entirely, but it seems that when Israel established a West Bank settlement in 1975 very near a previously-existing Palestinian village named Tekoa or Tuqu' or Teqoa', the Israelis called their settlement by the same name. See our articles on Tekoa, Gush Etzion and Tuqu'. OTOH, I did just notice that like Chronologies of Modern Terrorism, the book Encyclopedia of Terrorism also mistakenly reports the date the bodies were discovered as the date the boys were killed. So Encyclopedia of Terrorism still has at least four errors in its single-sentence mention, Chronologies of Modern Terrorism has at least three, and Dilemmas of Weak States wins the prize with one. This is in addition to any doubt about their respective attributions of responsibility for the two murders, of course.  – OhioStandard (talk) 09:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Update: I just noticed that in apparent response to my earlier talk page comments about the book, Mbz1 has removed the ref to Aliya "for now", as she wrote in her edit summary. I doubt that one's likely to come back, but I'd still welcome any advice about how to address the errors in the other single-sentence book sources listed above. Many thanks,  – OhioStandard (talk) 17:40, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
As a non-scholarly work, Aliya, I agree, is probably not a good source even if it is published by a reliable publisher. If it's true that there were slurs written in blood on the cave walls, surely a news source would have picked it up; the fact that it apparently only appears in this personal narrative is a red flag. As for the others, I'm not sure - they're scholarly works published by reliable sources, and some errors don't necessarily indicate that everything is wrong, but let's see what other users say... Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Encyclopedias are tertiary sources. I would be cautious about using these for a controversial claim, especially as this particular information comes from chronologies. There's no context or sourcing or corroboration or discussion. Plus, the fact that each brief entry has errors is a red flag. I don't feel comfortable using them as sources in this situation. Unless the context were to make it clear: "Although brief chronology entries in two encyclopedias state . . , USA Today reported that . . . " But my inclination would be to omit. TimidGuy (talk) 11:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I have not seen anyone point out yet that academic sources are not necessarily the best sources concerning guilt in recent murder trials. I think Ohiostandard's caution is very acceptable, and just saying that a source is scholarly is not always the answer to all concerns. We are talking about living people and serious legal accusations here from what I understand and the policy on Wikipedia is to be very careful about such things.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:40, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Must we "know what the sources meant" or is it sufficient to use what the sources actually state?

Interesting discussion at Talk:Communist terrorism about use of sources. One editor avers: If we do not know what the sources meant (because we have not sources to explain them), then we cannot use them as sources. "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".

I opined: It is up to us to represent what the sources actually state, and specifically not up to us to say what we think they should state.

Is it up to us to state what we know the sources mean or is it up to us to use precisely what the sources state? I feel this is a dichotomy which best fits discussion at the reliable sources noticeboard, but if anyone wishes it to refer it elsewhere, that is likely fine - the point is to get this matter which is of substantial wikisophical conflict resolved. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:43, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

In a meta sense, you're right - presenting what we "know" a source meant is OR. In the specific case this springs from... it is utterly irrelevant to the issue at hand, at least how I read it. --Errant (chat!) 13:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
If we are talking about a fact referenced by the book, if the book is written from a broad and general point of view we may seek another that is more detailed and specific to clarify the issue. If it is an opinion, and the book is an example of such opinion said by a reliable source, then we should consider the whole context. Sometimes a sentence says one thing but the whole text says the other; for example, by stating an idea and then explaining why that idea is wrong. In such cases we shouldn't cherry-pick the original sentence to pretend that the source says the opposite thing than what it actually says. That would be simply to misquote the source MBelgrano (talk) 13:19, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It is a good theoretical question in itself. WP policy tells us not just to blindly reproduce materials, and it also tells us not to be original. I am not sure this speculative question is ever really a practical problem though, even if it might seem like it is in the midst of a debate?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:35, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, there is a practical issue here: the only way to "use precisely what the source actually states" if you don't understand it is to quote it. To paraphrase something you have to interpret it. In any case, if you don't know what something means, how do you judge whether it is relevant to the article? AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:40, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the discussion to see why someone would say something as silly as that. Turns out you took it out of context. What the editor meant is apparently the simple fact that when using historical sources (in this case contemporary reports about things that happened in the early 20th century) the often heard argument "The source literally says it, so it must mean it." can be even weaker than it usually is, due to factors such as language change. Understanding what a source actually means requires competence. Understanding what a historical source means requires even more competence. This is particularly true when key words have changed their meanings. Hans Adler 13:37, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I feel I took it precisely within context, as a matter of fact (what part of the post I quoted would add to the "context"?). For example, in what way do you think the word "terrorism" has changed in meaning in the past fifty years? Near as I can figure, that particular word has had essentially the same meaning for well over a century, but your mileage may vary. Collect (talk) 14:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You can't have it both ways, Collect. When you say "that particular word has had essentially the same meaning for well over a century" you are interpreting the word, not just citing it blindly. Your original question is thus irrelevant here. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:11, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think this speaks for itself: "On May 4 Munich celebrated its liberation from Communist terrorism. Crowds thronged the streets and cheered the Government troops, which included a detachment of 800 Austrians. Bands played and national airs were sung outside the palace". (Example taken from the talk page.)
There is no conceivable way that this historical (1919) source can be using the words "Communist terrorism" as we use them today. The Reign of Terror (source of the term terrorism) was in 1793/94. Now we are in 2011. In these 200 years the meaning of "terrorism" has shifted from a government arousing terror in the population out of a position of strength to actions by clandestine groups who want to overthrow the government. (Even the formerly necessary element that they are doing it by arousing terror in the population is gradually getting lost. Nowadays sabotage that doesn't really hurt anyone is sometimes called terrorism.) It's not surprising at all that 100 years ago the term was still used in a way that was much closer to its original meaning. Hans Adler 15:41, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that the definition, "actions by clandestine groups who want to overthrow the government" is far from universally accepted. The 1919 usage is perfectly compatible with many of the various definitions discussed at, say, Richard English (2009). Terrorism: how to respond. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–5. ISBN 0199229988. There we find, for example, "an organised system of intimidation, especially for political ends", "the deliberate use of violence against innocent people with the aim of intimidating them or other people", "violence against civilians by non-state actors", "violence carried out by sub-state groups", "violence by an organisation other than a state government", ... all of which arguably apply to the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 17:26, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. This is the start of a reasonable discussion (for which this is not the right place). But such a discussion cannot be circumvented in the way that Collect seemed to imply at the beginning of this section. That's all that matters at RS/N. Hans Adler 18:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It is clear that words change their meaning over time, and certainly the nuances implicit in a 1919 reading of that phrase would be different from those in a 2011 reading. One excellent text for examples of this is C.S. Lewis (1990). Studies in words. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39831-2. I particularly remember his discussion of I dare say which in modern British usage is the weakest possible agreement, but in Jane Austen is a strong positive affirmation. Nevertheless I think your example fails. The implication of the 1919 usage is that the Bavarian Soviet Republic was Communist, that it was illegitimate, and that it ruled an unwilling populace by terror. This is, I think, quite compatible with what would be understood today by the same phrase. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 19:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Well that is not how CT is defined in the article, which is "actions they [believe] will inspire the the masses to rise up and overthrow the existing political and economic system". The Communists in Bavaria had already formed a government when they were overthrown, so presumably the Freikorps irregulars would better fit the description of terrorists. Similarly the Communists in Italy were part of the government, before Benito Mussolini's Fascists ended "terrorism". TFD (talk) 01:16, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
The article currently states Communist terrorism refers to acts of violence committed by groups subscribing to a Marxist/Leninist or Maoist ideology. It seems clear to me that this includes the assertion made in the 1919 source to describe the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 06:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Re "I think that the definition, "actions by clandestine groups who want to overthrow the government" is far from universally accepted." I would say, the very idea that some universally accepted definition of terrorism exists is highly disputable. For instance, Encyclopaedia Britannica says:

"Definitions of terrorism are usually complex and controversial, and, because of the inherent ferocity and violence of terrorism, the term in its popular usage has developed an intense stigma. It was first coined in the 1790s to refer to the terror used during the French Revolution by the revolutionaries against their opponents. The Jacobin party of Maximilien Robespierre carried out a Reign of Terror involving mass executions by the guillotine. Although terrorism in this usage implies an act of violence by a state against its domestic enemies, since the 20th century the term has been applied most frequently to violence aimed, either directly or indirectly, at governments in an effort to influence policy or topple an existing regime."

Another quote:

"Terrorism is notoriously difficult to define, in part because the term has evolved and in part because it is associated with an activity that is designed to be subjective. Generally speaking, the targets of a terrorist episode are not the victims who are killed or maimed in the attack, but rather the governments, publics, or constituents among whom the terrorists hope to engender a reactionsuch as fear, repulsion, intimidation, overreaction, or radicalization. Specialists in the area of terrorism studies have devoted hundreds of pages toward trying to develop an unassailable definition of the term, only to realize the fruitlessness of their efforts: Terrorism is intended to be a matter of perception and is thus seen differently by different observers."(Cronin, Audrey Kurth. Behind the Curve Globalization and International Terrorism. International Security, Volume 27, Number 3, Winter 2002/03, pp. 30-58 (Article) Published by The MIT Press)

That means that we cannot directly use old sources discussing terrorism, because, since the term has evolved, they may discuss not the same thing we currently see as "terrorism".--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:18, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Paul makes a good point, and one which if taken to its logical conclusion would preclude us from writing almost all of the historical articles on Wikipedia. The question is how far are we allowing ourselves to actually understand the sources? The 1919 quote is primary for the assertion "The phrase 'Communist terrorism' was used in 1919" and secondary for "The Bavarian Soviet Republic practised terrorism". However, it is disputable, and indeed, disputed, that it is a valid source for the second assertion as the meaning of the word used by the 1919 author might be different to the one used in the article. Based on my reading, I think that it is not, or is at least covered by most modern uses of the term. However, there is currently no secondary source to say "the meaning of the word as used in 1919 is the same as, or consistent with, its use in 2011". Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 06:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Paul, a point on your logic. Taking positions to extreme black/white positions, in order to come to impossibly silly implications, can be, but is not always, logically relevant to the positions being discussed. Not all positions need to be black/white. Hans Adler's point was that there there is a need for checking to see how words are used in context, because individual words can be used different ways. There is no logical need to take this point to an extreme and say that the meanings of words must never be clear according to his point.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Is a cite reliable if it is 3rd hand?

I'm struggling to find something in policy, I'm sure I've seen it. My question is does policy forbid second hand cites. For example if a book makes a claim citing another source, it is not appropriate to lift that cite and claim it as your own, or to take a cite provided by another editor and claim that as your own. I'm sure I've seen that but can't remember where. Wee Curry Monster talk 21:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand the question. What do you mean by "claim it as your own"? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:53, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT MBelgrano (talk) 21:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thats the one, I've been through that policy and couldn't find it. Thanks. Wee Curry Monster talk 22:00, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT#Say where you read it is the answer you want, isn't it? You don't cite a source you haven't seen yourself. Andrew Dalby 08:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
What is this "3rd hand" nonsense? I will reinforce what Andrew just said, that you cite only what you have seen directly, which is to say firsthand. Perhaps what you are confused about is the difference between something like "A" stating "the sky is blue", and "B" stating that "A stated 'the sky is blue'". While the "truth" of the first statement depends on the color of the sky, the "truth" of the second statement does not — it depends only on what "A" stated. "A" is talking about sky, "B" is talking about what "A" said. Does that help? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it is nonsense. I have two editors on Gibraltar, neither of whom have access to sources, who argue based on a) Google Snippets b) No. of hits during Google searches for particular phrases and c) 3rd hand quotes that they can determine due relevance and text that is NPOV. They've reverted attempts to improve the moribund article claiming there is "no consensus" to change based on this premise. The text they revert to fails NPOV by presenting only one of many opinions in the literature and it is one that favours a particular national narrative in the sovereignty dispute over Gibraltar. This has been an ongoing problem for two years. Wee Curry Monster talk 22:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The question is not nonsense actually and the assessment whether you can take a quote or citation from 3rd hand (or tertiary) source depends how reliable that one is. :::::::Now if you deem the 3hand source as reliable, then WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT#Say where you read it tells you that need to cite the 3rd hand source itself for your content rather than the source the 3rd hand source is referring to.
As far as the dispute between the authors is concerned, if there's a dispute the demands on the sources grow, i.e. Google snippets, searches or somewhat arbitrary 3rd hand sources usually won't cut it. So if the quarreling parties want changes, they have to get their hands on better sources. If they have some serious doubts regarding the content but no access to sources to confirm it, they have to be content with posting a note/warning on the discussion page and leave it to other authors in the future, who will have access to the required sources.
If those authors quarrel for 2 years without being willing or able to look up better sources, they should take a break and leave the article alone.--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I am unclear on the first part of what you said, but I concur with the rest. Editors are not allowed to use material from sources they have not seen. If they have not seen the sources — complete and with the material or quote in its full context, none of this "snippet" nonsense — then they cannot use them. If they don't have (have not seen) such sources as are authoritative for that topic then I would question their competence to do any substantial editing of the article. However, this doesn't seem to be a NPOV issue. Is there a better venue for this problem? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:41, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Not necessarily true, and not what WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT says. In some cases, a later source will cite an earlier source (eg a letter or diary) that is not published, and the only place the primary source can be seen (other than visiting whatever museum or archive it is stored in) is the part of it in the later source. What one must, of course, always be careful of is that the later source has not cherry-picked a small quote which appears to support the later author's position, whereas if one were to read the entire original work, one would see that the earlier author took an entirely different position. (Film advert "a laugh out loud comedy" (The Reviewer); The Reviewer's original statement "one expects a laugh out loud comedy, but unfortunately this film isn't it." Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:37, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
We seem to be having something of a problem at the moment with editors using keywords and half-sentences (combined, perhaps, with some wishful thinking) to merely guess at what some sources say. While it's not necessary to read a thousand-page book to find out what one page says, it is actually necessary to read that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Talk:Gibraltar#RfC: Due weight & NPOV in the History section I have started an RFC to gather outside opinion related to this issue. Those who have commented here may care to contribute an opinion. Thanks. Wee Curry Monster talk 20:35, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The articles in academic and peer-reviewed publications as unreliable sources.

Can anyone comment on the statement that the articles (listed below) are junk and are not reliable sources for the Communist terrorism article? Some user expressed such an opinion (he last his action is as follows[1]). The articles are as follows:

  1. Phillip Deery. The Terminology of Terrorism: Malaya, 1948–52. Journal of Southeast Asia Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 231–247. A scholarly article in a peer-reviewed journal. The author has published many scholarly books and articles [2]
  2. Anthony J. Stockwell. A widespread and long-concocted plot to overthrow government in Malaya? The origins of the Malayan Emergency. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 21, 3 (1993): 79-80. A scholarly article in a peer-reviewed journal. The author has published many scholarly books and articles [3].
  3. Carol Winkler. In the name of terrorism: presidents on political violence in the post-World War II era. SUNY Press, 2006, ISBN 0791466175, 9780791466179, p.29-35. A book published by the State University of New York press.
  4. William F. Shughart II. An analytical history of terrorism, 1945–2000. Public Choice (2006) 128:7–39. An article in the journal that "is internationally recognized as an authoritative source for original scholarly work and book reviews written from the unique public choice perspective."[4]
  5. Tim Krieger and Daniel Meierrieks, Terrorism in the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Journal of Conflict Resolution 2010 54: 902. The article in Journal of Conflict Resolution (JCR), peer-reviewed and published bi-monthly, for more than fifty years has provided scholars and researchers with the latest studies and theories on the causes of and solutions to the full range of human conflict.[5]
  6. Christopher K. Robison, Edward M. Crenshaw, J. Craig Jenkins. Ideologies of Violence: The Social Origins of Islamist and Leftist Transnational Terrorism. Social Forces 84.4 (2006) 2009-2026.
  7. Kevin Siqueira and Todd Sandler. Terrorists versus the Government: Strategic Interaction, Support, and Sponsorship. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 50, No. 6 (Dec., 2006), pp. 878-898. The same. The scholarly journal published by SAGE[6]
  8. Cronin, Audrey. Behind the Curve Globalization and International Terrorism. International Security, Volume 27, Number 3, Winter 2002/03, pp. 30-58. A journal published by MIT press.
  9. Peter Chalk. The Response to Terrorism as a Threat to Liberal Democracy. Australian Journal of Politics and History: Volume 44, Number 3, 1998, pp. 373-88. "The Australian Journal of Politics and History presents papers addressing significant problems of general interest to those working in the fields of history, political studies and international affairs."[7]
  10. A Jamieson. Identity and morality in the Italian Red Brigades. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1990, p. 508-15. The article in "Terrorism and Political Violence", a journal that "reflects the full range of current scholarly work from many disciplines and theoretical perspectives. "[8]
  11. Cristopher Fettweis. Freedom Fighters and Zealots: Al Qaeda in Historical Perspective.Political Science Quarterly; Summer2009, Vol. 124 Issue 2, p 269-296. "Political Science Quarterly, published by The Academy of Political Science since 1886, is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal covering government, politics and policy, both international and domestic."[9]
  12. Richard Drake. Terrorism and the Decline of Italian Communism: Domestic and International Dimensions. Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 12, Number 2, Spring 2010 1531-3298. "The Journal of Cold War Studies features peer-reviewed articles based on archival research in the former Communist world and in Western countries. Some articles offer reevaluations of important historical events or themes, emphasizing the changes of interpretation necessitated by declassified documents and new firsthand accounts."[10]

Thank you in advance. --Paul Siebert (talk) 14:43, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

FWIW, and I am not the one who posted the tags, the issue appears to be whether the sources cited are properly used in backing specific claims, which is not exactly what the question posited appears to be. Collect (talk) 14:50, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The statement was that these sources are junk. With regards to the proper usage, I of course can provide needed quotes, however, such a request has not been made. Do you want me to do that?--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:53, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
(ec)The tags were "fail verification" as near as I can tell. Which is a tag used when an editor does not accept that the cite is properly backed by the reference given. That is precisely what that tag asks for. And is a request by the person giving the tag. Collect (talk) 14:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The edit summary was "they are junk".--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
They are junk. The author of the first source even says these are new ideas, there is no acceptance for them in the academic community, they are basically fringe and you are giving undue weight to it. I am unsure as to why you have posted them all, I had not finished going through them. Tentontunic (talk) 14:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
(ec)For instance. Carol`s book, I have no issue with it. But the fact that you need 6 or seven pages to support a single sentence makes it impossible to verify properly. This is what I meant on the article talk page when I said you were overeaching and cherry picking sources to push your POV. Tentontunic (talk) 15:04, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
A paper in the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies is neither junk nor fringe. Please don't dismiss academic sources in that way. The paper may, however, be speculative. Let's have a look. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, I've got the paper. It's normal scholarship and relevant to the article. I summarised it slightly differently, see what you think. The other disputed references should be worked through here one by one. It will take a little time but it's necessary. The article is on 1RR. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:16, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
By Carol, you mean Winkler 2006? That should be fine. It is essential to give page references when citing books. A seven-page span is on the long side but not impossible to verify. It doesn't take all that long to skip through seven pages. If you ask the editor nicely to specify more exactly the pages that uphold the statement in the article, then that will be more productive than making accusations of POV-pushing. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:22, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
And you think giving undue weight to an article which sank without trace is ok? Strange. Tentontunic (talk) 15:26, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
"Undue" belongs to the different noticeboard. Since your primary objections was reliability, let's finish with this first. After that, if you believe that the text has some neutrality issues, feel free to post to NPOVN. --Paul Siebert (talk) 15:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Try to be civil to non-involved editors on the boards. That way you will get a wider range of comments. I looked at Winkler 2006 and the whole section is on-topic. The most relevant paragraphs are at the beginning and end of the section; in between is the development of the point with examplars. It might be useful to extend the explanation in the article in order to ensure that all the nuance of Winkler's argument is there. Refer to the two individual pages rather than the whole section. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't understand. What incivility do you mean?--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:09, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that comment was aimed at Tentontunic.
As a general comment, academic and peer-reviewed publications may be unreliable. In particular, they are not reliable sources for things they do not actually say. I'm sure that we can all agree, for example, that Einstein's papers on relativity are marvelous academic sources that are completely unreliable sources for statements like "Barack Obama is the current US president".
I see no problem whatsoever in citing six or seven pages. Actually, I see no inherent problem with citing an entire book in some instances, e.g., when you're describing a book or the author's opinion ("Bob Smith says that education of girls is the ultimate solution to overpopulation"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I am a little bit surprised with the way Tentontunic acts. For instance, they placed the "fv" tag [11] to the reference (William F. Shughart II. An analytical history of terrorism, 1945–2000. Public Choice (2006) 128:7–39) implying that this source does not support the statement: "These groups, usually referred to as left-wing terrorists". However, the "Keyword" section of this article is as follows:

"Keywords Terrorism . National liberation . Ethnic separatism . Left-wing terrorism . Islamist terrorism . Rational choice . Constitutional political economy"
This as well as the fact that the abstract of the article states:
"This paper traces the history of modern terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the beginning of the twenty-first century. It divides that history into three stylized waves: terrorism in the service of national liberation and ethnic separatism, left-wing terrorism, and Islamist terrorism. Adopting a constitutional political economy perspective, the paper argues that terrorism is rooted in the artificial nation-states created during the interwar period and suggests solutions grounded in liberal federalist constitutions and, perhaps, new political maps for the Middle East, Central Asia and other contemporary terrorist homelands."

demonstrates that this user simply didn't bother to read the sources they questioned. --Paul Siebert (talk) 17:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

More lies I see, I said the source does not support the statement usually referred to as. This is your own original research, in neither of your sources does it say what you say it does. Tentontunic (talk) 17:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I believe, it is clear from the context that the words "usually referred to" refer to the whole sentence:
"These groups, usually referred to as left-wing terrorists, "leftist terrorists", "Communist terrorists", the Fighting Communist Organizations (FCO), or "Euroterrorists" (the latter term has been applied to European terrorists only), "
If you know other terms, please, provide an answer. You may also report to WP:NORN if you want. Another opportunity is just to remove the word "usually" instead of escalating the conflict.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:55, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
@Paul: I just picked the last one (Shughart). If he's the same as affiliated with the Independent Institute, well, that's just a code word for screaming conservative blog. I see no reason you should not respond in detail to questions regarding the reliability of any source. You protest the act of tagging. You accuse editors of bad faith based on your meme that any sane competent non-obstructionist editor would accept the source you propose. Assume good faith, not that the user "simply didn't bother to read," and deal with the request constructively. Then maybe you'll get somewhere. PЄTЄRS J VTALK 17:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
P.S. And on "This journal (originally called Papers in Non-Market Decision-Making) is internationally recognized as an authoritative source for original scholarly work and book reviews written from the unique public choice perspective" that is their own self-promotion--here copy-pasted from their web site. That's not a reliable description. It may or may not be true, but you certainly can't quote self-promotional materials as anointing the self-same sources with scholarly merit.
Public choice magazine is published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, which was merged into Springer Science+Business Media[12] and is certainly a reliable source. TFD (talk) 17:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Re "I see no reason you should not respond in detail to questions regarding the reliability of any source." Although detailed responses require detailed answers (which I never got), I tried to provide needed explanations. However, my responses were totally ignored. In addition, if some user has a doubts in some sources, the best way to resolve the issue is to go here. I suggested Tentontunic to do that several times, however, they refused, and eventually I was forced to do that by myself. That was illogical, because the posts here are being made by users who doubts in reliability of some sources, and since I didn't, there was no reason for me to do that.
Re "that's just a code word for screaming conservative blog. " What do you mean?
Re "You protest the act of tagging." When someone places a tag even without reading the source, the natural reaction is to protest.
Re "You accuse editors of bad faith based on your meme that any sane competent non-obstructionist editor would accept the source you propose. " I accuse just one concrete editor in bad faith, simply because my faith in their good faith has been severely undermined by their actions.
And, finally, since the conduct issue hardly belong to this noticeboard, could you please be more concrete: do you question reliability of the sources used by me for the Communist terrorism article, and, if yes, then what is your rationale, and, if no, what is the purpose of this your post?--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The fact that Shughart is a senior fellow at The Independent Institute is irrelevant - the article was published in the mainstream academic press. You may be confusing the Institute with the Independence Institute. TFD (talk) 18:14, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Some salient points from WP:RS:

  1. Material such as an article, book, monograph, or research paper that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable. If the material has been published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses, generally it has been at least preliminarily vetted by one or more other scholars.
  2. Care should be taken with journals that exist mainly to promote a particular point of view. A claim of peer review is not an indication that the journal is respected, or that any meaningful peer review occurs. Journals that are not peer reviewed by the wider academic community should not be considered reliable, except to show the views of the groups represented by those journals.--KeithbobTalk 19:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The Journal of Conflict Resolution seems reputable. It's been around for 50 years and is associated with the University of Maryland and has a prestigious looking Editorial Board [13]--KeithbobTalk 20:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Paul, I'm looking at your example above from Shugart, and I'm am concerned about it. The statement in the article says:

"[Various terrorist groups that began operations in the late 1960's are] usually referred to as left-wing terrorists"

The Shugart source—or the bits of it you present here—can be used to very little more than "left-wing terrorism exists". It doesn't say that it's a typical name. It doesn't say that it is ever applied to groups that started in the late 1960s. It doesn't say anything about left-wing terrorism except that
  1. it exists, and
  2. it's not the same as the other two waves mentioned (national liberation/ethnic separatism terrorism and Islamist terrorism).
If you're trying to support this claim off of this source, you have seriously exceeded the source. If you believe the source probably says that the groups from the late 1960s usually have this name, but you don't know because you don't want to pay for the source, then you need to ask around until you find someone who already has access to it. (Try the WP:LIBRARY, for example.) But please don't try to turn keyword scanner food into proof that an actual article makes specific, detailed claims like this. That's not okay. For all we know, the source spends half its length telling us why that term is unusual, or should never be applied to these particular groups. You've got to actually read the source, not just guess at its contents! WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
As I already explained, the full sentence is:
""These groups, usually referred to as left-wing terrorists, "leftist terrorists", "Communist terrorists", the Fighting Communist Organizations (FCO), or "Euroterrorists" (the latter term has been applied to European terrorists only), "
Therefore, "usually" refers to (or is supposed to refer to) all definitions listed here. I tried to list all definitions I found in the literature, and I concede that "usually" may constitute some unneeded generalisation, however, that is not a subject this noticeboard.
Regarding the source, I am not sure I understand what do you mean. The section 4 of this article has a title Left-wing terrorism, and states, for instance, the following
"During the 1960s, opposition to the Vietnam War produced a wave of “New Left” terrorism, as radical groups in Europe, Latin America and the United States, often aided and abetted by the Palestine Liberation Organization, undertook campaigns of political kidnappings, assassinations and bombings in furtherance of vague Marxist-Leninist-Maoist political agendas and woolly headed demands for “social justice”. Penetration of these groups by undercover agents, the capture and arrest of key terrorist-group leaders and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which put paid to the radicals’ never-very-well-articulated purposes, combined to bring the second post-war wave of terrorism to an end. Its remnants nevertheless survive in parts of Central and South America as well as in South Asia."
therefore, I simply don't see what is the problem with the source.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
PS Upon meditation, I realise what probably caused your criticism. Do I understand correct that, in your opinion, the sentence
"In the late 1960`s in Europe, Japan and in both north and South America various terrorist organizations began operations."
is too general to be supported by the cited sources? If that is your main concern, then I fully agree: not all terrorist organisations that acted in 1950-90s were left-wing/leftist/Communist/Euroterrorist. I need to think how to fix that and to avoid tautology.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:51, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the stress on those names ("Left-wing", "leftist", etc) is somewhat derundant. I also agree that the author (Shugart) is too serious scholar to just put a label ("left-wing", or "Communist"). For instance, he writes:
"Although the second terrorist wave has been characterized here as primarily left-wing in origin, the three decades running from 1960 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 also were marked by the internationalization of terrorism. The PLO, as we have seen, played a major role in elevating terrorism to the global stage, not only as a result of the network of ideologically diverse terrorist groups it assembled in Europe and elsewhere by supplying training, money and weapo ns, but also by virtue of the terrorist acts carried out on its own account: the Palestinians “were more active in Europe than on theWest Bank, and sometimes more active in Europe than many European groups themselves were” (Rapoport, 2004, p. 58)."
Therefore, this author seems to be a very reliable source for the claim that, despite the usage of the label "left-wing" the terrorist groups that we discuss have much more complex nature, and cannot be characterised in simple Cold-war type terms. However, your should keep in mind that all these sources have been added by me to balance much more primitive claim, namely, that all these groups were "Communist terrorists", which was much more dramatic oversimpification (and minority POV).--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:10, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
We should be using a source that describes the typology such as The new dimension of international terrorism that says, "Left-wing terrorism (also referred to as Marxist-Leninist terrorism) is a political tool to replace Western capitalist regimes based on a free market economy, with Marxist-Leninist or socialist government".[14] The source used, Terrorists' target selection does not use a typology based on ideology, although it says that terrorist groups justify their actions with ideology (p. 16). The section used does not claim that the ideologies mentioned - separatism, religion, liberalism, anarchism, commiunism, conservatism, fascism, single-issue and organized crime are the standard terms used to describe terrorist activity. The article however takes its description from this book, "Communist terrorist groups aim at overthrowing the existing political and economic system through the use of terrorism in the hope that violence will politicise the masses and incite them to rise up and destroy the capitalist system".[15] It seems that the two writers are writing about the same thing. Howevver some editors are now trying to add groups that do not fit these definitions. TFD (talk) 21:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

@WhatamIdoing. In actuality, what you are saying is not completely correct. What Shugart writes is that, despite their name, left-wing terrorism is much more complex phenomenon than just a left-wing movement. Shugart discusses not terminology that describes the left-wing terrorism, but the essence of this phenomenon. By the way, he took the term "left-wing" from the David C. Rapoport's, "The Fourth Wave: September 11 in the History of Terrorism," Current History, December 2001, pp.419-424, a highly cited article[16]. The same article has been cited, with the reference to this classification ("This wave follows three earlier historical phases in which terrorism was tied to the breakup of empires, decolonization, and leftist anti-Westernism."), by Cronin (who is also highly cited [17])). Therefore, I don't think it would be incorrect to state that three references of so reputable and highly cited scholars are not sufficient to state that this terrorism is referred to as "left-wing".
In any event, thank you for your criticism that urged me to read the source in more details and to find one more good reference.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The source might well make such claims. However, the keywords and quotation you pasted here make no such claims. This is why I included the qualification "The Shugart source—or the bits of it you present here…". What you presented here as proof is not proof at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: I haven't read all the way through the above, but I would like to explain that a lot of times exploratory research is done to open up hypotheses and create discussion in an area within a reliable source. Most studies should discuss their limitations, for instance an article I recently read ended with "Bearing the restrictions in mind, this study can obviously lay no claim to being definitive and should therefore be rightly regarded as an exploratory one, generative of useful hypotheses..."
When using an article that seems to be written on a new topic, care should be taken to looking at claims within it from within the context of the full article and it's own stated limitations. If access to the full publications is restricted then you should seek out a review, ask someone to get it for you, or use it with caution and avoid any controversial declarations from it.AerobicFox (talk) 22:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Although I have an access to all sources I cite, all of that is irrelevant. I started this thread because someone declared the sources I was using (the list can be found on the top) were "junk". I had no doubts that they weren't, however, I had no choice other than to post the question here. Now I got your opinions, and I am fully satisfied.
Thanks to everybody.
Cheers, --Paul Siebert (talk) 22:37, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Back again, apparently not resolved

This has been to WP:NPOVN, where the view has been expressed that Deery's article is a fringe theory. Can some further uninvolved editors comment on the status of this article, please? Journal of Southeast Asian Studies is a Cambridge Journal published by National University of Singapore. Deery is Professor at Victoria University, Australia. My reading of the article is that its claim to do something new is a simple claim to doing original research, essential if an article is worth publishing. It applies standard techniques of analysis to an area where they have not yet been sufficiently used. I would be interested to know of any other takes on this. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:58, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

It would probably help to know what assertion it is being claimed as a reliable source for. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 20:20, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

In 1948, an anti-colonial guerrilla war, the "Malayan emergency", started between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army. The insurgents were led by the Malayan Communist Party and their their actions were labeled at first as "banditry" then later as "Communist terrorism" in British propaganda[9][neutrality is disputed]


The second sentence (with the repeated "their", sorry) is mine, softened from the previous wording after this thread was opened and I read the source. The first sentence is probably undisputed and could be cited to any one of a number of sources. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:31, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Having read the article, it seems fine to use. Whether or not it actually supports our text is tricky, and there will always be some detail left out, but Malayan Emergency does a decent job of filling in the blanks. Some explanation of why the British changed the terminology might be good, though. Moreschi (talk) 20:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems a reliable source -- major academic publisher, major university, established academic -- capable of sustaining the assertion. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 21:10, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Could you please verify other sources labeled as non-neutral of unreliable? I myself have no doubts in them, however, additional check is always useful.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
The source is a highest quality reliable source and is reliable for the statement made. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:09, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I fully agree with that, and, if the Anthony Stockwell, Journal of Commonwealth History article is still in question, I would say exactly the same about it too. There's no question of a "fringe theory": this is the mainstream. Andrew Dalby 09:12, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Find a Grave as a reliable source or reference

Thomas Stanton (Medal of Honor) uses Find a Grave as a reference here to support, "Stanton died May 7, 1950 at age 80 and was buried at Saint Columba Catholic Cemetery in Middletown, Rhode Island.

I removed Find a Grave as a reference and placed it in an external links section, with an edit summary and reasons listed on the talk page here. The edit was reverted with the edit summary, "Fix broken link". This would be fixable but extended comments found here, an occasional use as a reference but claiming it wasn't valid because you don't like it doesn't cut it. I also believe that some of the "evidence" and policy that you present are extremely weak and an exaggeration of the "problem". Considering the policies that Find a Grave fails, and the fact that the Find a Grave project advises to use as an external link only, I am trying to Find exceptions that allow the use (or give exceptions) as a source or reference. The discussion has been ongoing for a couple of months. Otr500 (talk) 04:24, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Here replace the find a grave link with this link - still not all that great but Doug and Pam Sterner have a much better reputation then find a grave in general as there is some editorial control over the site. On a side note Don Morfe did both pages.Moxy (talk) 04:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
This has been repeatedly discussed, you may find value in the archives. Fifelfoo (talk) 05:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Otr500 is very familiar with Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites and i think is simply looking for help in replacing the link as the info is right (no?).Moxy (talk) 05:04, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Fifelfoo, consensus was that Find a Grave was not a reliable source and this has not changed. Thank you Moxy for the link. If it is not a reliable source it will still have to be an external link. The reliability of Don Morfe concerning pictures is not questioned but 1)- the site his information is listed on, and 2)- his pictures has not as yet been released to conform to Wikipedia policies, and there is possible copyright infringement issues, give rise to concerns. The mentioning of the external links/perennial websites, of which I am familiar, does not address what the purpose of this noticeboard is for and the reason for my inquiry; Editors can post questions here about whether particular sources are reliable, in context. I feel I was clear as seeking if Find a Grave could be used as a source or reference in this instance. Since the question of reliability keeps surfacing, some assertions that it is allowable in some cases, and the article having been reverted with the additional above comments, I was actually seeking a clear consensus. In the interest of Wikipedia having better articles surely no one would have a problem with this. Otr500 (talk) 09:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

basically "Find a Grave" makes us look bad - and at any opportunity it should be replaced post haste. reference Wiki to Wiki is not a good idea ever. Anyone can edit Find a Grave like Wikipedia and use its as a source.Moxy (talk) 11:48, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Comment on the markers themselves: Grave markers and photos of such are indeed used by professional genealogists and historians as records (sources). The markers may be mistaken in what is written on them but that wouldn't nullify the fact that they are a source. The remaining content of Find-A-Grave is to be taken into consideration in the same manner that anyone reading Wikipedia should take into consideration - with caution. There would be little reason to doubt "Saint Columba Catholic Cemetery in Middletown, Rhode Island" as the photographer likely knows where they are when they take the photo. I take caution when viewing census records, land records, or any other form of public record such as grave markers. None are viewed without consideration of the other records.
I wouldn't normally add a FAG link to an article as either a source or external link (I don't ever recall having done so) but in some cases, it is plausible. That is when editorial discretion comes into play. I would prefer that if a marker or set of markers is a worthy addition to an article that we get our own photos rather than relying on outside sources.
What are the factual errors in the FAG site on Stanton? I'm not asking for an interpretation of policies and guidelines here (IAR if it makes the article better). What is the dispute over the info contained at the linked site? Wrong dates?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 16:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


This website appears to specialize in posting copies of legal and other official documents concerning famous people and controversies. It is being used as a source for Michelle Malkin,[18][19] but I don't see it in any other articles.[20] The domain name is registered to an individual.[21] I see two problems: all of the documents appear to be primary sources, and the site appears to be a one-man operation. Any other thoughts?   Will Beback  talk  03:50, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Hmm, I'm not totally sure enough to give a definite answer, but it at least has been used as a source by numerous reputable publications (1, 2, 3, 4).--Yaksar (let's chat) 04:35, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
This simply seems to be a personal website and falls under the constraints of WP:SPS. I don't think this should be used as a source, especially for BLP. TimidGuy (talk) 10:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Banned by the all too often ignored WP:BLPPRIMARY which says: " Do not use trial transcripts and other court records, or other public documents, to support assertions about a living person." Jonathanwallace (talk) 14:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I concur with TimidGuy and Jonathanwallace. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:43, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that BLPPRIMARY is, by far, the more important point. You don't need to be a recognized subject-matter expert to acquire or scan a court transcript. It's not like the transcript is the transcript if it's on a lawyer's or journalist's website, but it somehow, perhaps magically, quits being a court transcript if it's on a personal website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:52, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree it is an issue of primary sources, not whether the website is a reliable source. TFD (talk) 16:16, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Coconut oil

I added these two sources to the article:

  • Norton, D.; Angerman, S.; Istfan, N.; Lopes, S.M.; Babayan, V.K.; Putz, M.C.; Steen, S.N.; Blackburn, G.L. (2004). Comparative Study of Coconut Oil, Soybean Oil, and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies 29 (1–2): 76–89.
  • Kabara, Jon J. (1978). The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Champaign IL: American Oil Chemist's Society. pp. 1-95. ISBN 9991817697.

and they were removed. I do not see why they cannot stay. The Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies is a journal that turns up in the UN FAO's AGRIS International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology Database. The second is an expert writing a book for a professional level audience. Are they improper? Also in general I must ask is it proper to remove sources? Isn't that vandalism? Even a source that isn't of the most preferred kind imparts information. Removing sources unless they are terribly shoddy ones would seem to be inferior practice in comparison to supplying more sources representing the other side (if there is another side—something that is proved by supplying sources). Lambanog (talk) 17:10, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Discussed on the article talk page here and here. --Ronz (talk) 18:27, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
The first study appears to be a primary study, which should be avoided per WP:MEDRS for sourcing health claims. I also note that the journal does not appear to be indexed in MEDLINE, which is a red flag when discussing biomedical journals.
The second is over 30 years old and would be only useful for medical information from a historical perspective (i.e. what was thought mainstream in 1978) - it would be inappropriate to be used for medical claims now (see again WP:MEDRS).
Removal of inappropriate sources and information from inappropriate sources is certainly not vandalism, it is an integral part of building a respectable encyclopedia. Yobol (talk) 18:32, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Lambanog, Ronz, please accept my apology for being slow to expound in Talk. Lambanog, if you had bothered to look at the history, you would have seen that there was a reason given (although brief) for each removal. — Jay L09 (talk) 19:19, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
In the case of Kabara, I noted "Remove statement not supported by the claimed reference." Perhaps I should have left the footnote alone as its own paragraph? Apart from the extremely novel claim in the removed statement that atherosclerotic plaques are caused by infection (microorganisms), a search of the book did not disclose any use of the term "atherosclerotic plaque." I did not look at the referenced page because you referenced pages 1-95 of a 199 page book. It appeared to me that the reference (and the statement it was alleged to support) were nothing more than vandalism. However, rather than drop a "V-bomb" in my summary, I gave a very brief reason. — Jay L09 (talk) 19:19, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
After removing the suggestion that only pp. 1-95 should be read, I have now restored the Kabara reference and moved it to "Further reading." — Jay L09 (talk) 20:35, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
In the case of Norton & al., I noted "Remove statement supported by advertising circular claiming to be a scientific journal." Ronz has already provided a link to my discussion in Talk of why I consider Norton & al. to be an "advertising circular claiming to be a scientific journal." Again, I apologize for taking so long to add the expanded discussion to Talk. In any case, the summary of Norton & al. and the reference appeared to me, after careful examination, to be nothing more nor less than vandalism. — Jay L09 (talk) 19:19, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
It is a citation of a scientific paper. I do not see how adding it could be construed as vandalism—unlike its removal. I am troubled with the seeing ease with which editors remove sources which appear to me to be valid pointing vaguely at WP:MEDRS. In any event I have provided an update. Aside from the sources already in the article could you please give an example of three high quality sources about coconut oil that are in your view acceptable, so that I can have an idea of what will go unobstructed? For example would you oppose the other Kabara source that I have provided under Further reading if I was to use it in the article? Lambanog (talk) 12:23, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I am troubled with the seeming ease with which editors characterize specific observations of why an alleged scientific paper seems to be a hoax and of low quality as "pointing vaguely at WP:MEDRS." — Jay L09 (talk) 16:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Norton 2004 is pretty preliminary, as was noted on the talk page. They mention that they'll do a final paper - better to look for that. It should be noted, however, that I think it should be cited when that final paper is found. I am not aware of any other RCTs on coconut oil, and Wikipedia would not be satisfying the level of detail that its readers expect if it did not mention the only RCT that has been done. It shouldn't be cited in therapeutic or disease articles, obviously, but a different standard exists when we're talking about the page of substance. As far as Kabara, I don't see why it was removed. People who actually read medical literature know that sources from 1978 are cited often, and scientists do not often repeat the basic research establishing certain findings. There's no evidence that it is incorrect. II | (t - c) 19:06, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I, for one, do not believe that Kabara even mentions the claim that any component of coconut oil kills microorganisms that cause atherosclerotic plaques. I would certainly remove my objection if a clear, short quote from Kabara (together with the page number), were included, which quote made it clear that Kabara was talking about coconut oil preventing atherosclerosis. — Jay L09 (talk) 19:27, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
As always, the reliability of a source is dependent on what facts it is supposed to be sourcing. The sentence that it is being used as a source for states matter-of-factly that microorganisms cause atherosclerotic plaques - this of course, is not widely accepted in the medical community (although there has been interesting but inconclusive research into Chlamydia pneumoniae as a possible factor in atherosclerosis). As someone who reads the medical literature on a regular basis, I know that citing a 1978 book for controversial (and largely incorrect) statements probably isn't the best idea. Yobol (talk) 19:52, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, yeah, I didn't read the diff carefully. There are two claims: medium-chain fatty acids have some antimicrobial properties, and microbes cause heart disease. I was talking about the former - the antimicrobial thing is something that I've heard a few times and is easy to study scientifically. I don't know much about it or whether there's evidence that it is antimicrobial in vivo or anything. The latter statement about microbes and heart disease, I agree, is dubious. Certainly the source can't be used without a specific page number. II | (t - c) 20:37, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Norton is, aside from it's other flaws, a primary source and shouldn't be used for any medical claims. Kabara is from 1978. That's 31 years old. If this information has merit, surely it has been extended and reported in more recent sources? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 21:57, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it does seem a good idea to have a higher standard for sourcing when it comes to medical claims and to heed WP:MEDRS. Primary sources aren't completely disallowed under the guideline, though. TimidGuy (talk) 11:20, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Some new questions then in light of some of the statements made here. Would this source be acceptable?

  • Kabara, Jon J. (2008). Fats Are Good for You and Other Secrets – How Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Actually Benefit the Body. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1556436904.

Also would it be okay to start a new section about coconut oil/tropical oil controversy using the following as a source?

  • McNamara, Donald J. (2010). Palm Oil and Health: A Case of Manipulated Perception and Misuse of Science Journal of the American College of Nutrition 29 (3) Supplement 1: 240S-244S

Lambanog (talk) 12:23, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

McNamara appears to me to be a good source (no, I have not yet read the entire article, so I could be mistaken) for a completely new Wikipedia article. But it should be joined with at least two other good sources reaching the same conclusions. — Jay L09 (talk) 16:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Yobol and WLU are removing the following source for no valid that I can understand except that it is old. But then it is also argued on the talk page there aren't many sources on the topic. I think it inappropriate to remove the source as removing it serves no purpose. It supports a statement by The New York Times on a non-medical claim although even alone on a medical claim it cannot be just removed.

  • Kintanar, Quintin L. (1988). Is coconut oil hypercholesterolemic and atherogenic? A focused review of the literature. Transactions of the National Academy of Science and Technology (Phil.) 10: 371–414.

Yobol and WLU also prefer the statement

Due to its high content of lauric acid, coconut oil significantly raises blood cholesterol primarily through its impact on high-density lipoprotein ("good" cholesterol), though the implications of this for coronary artery disease are not known.

Which does not address what the exact "impact" on HDL cholesterol really is. Is it a favorable or unfavorable impact? Is HDL lowered or raised? Is the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio improved or not? The wording is needlessly vague on a critical point. In my preferred version that uses a direct quote from the meta-analysis source shows what the impact on HDL-C is:

It has been found that while lauric acid the primary fatty acid found in coconut oil raises total cholesterol—the most of all fatty acids—most of the increase is attributable to an increase in HDL "good" cholesterol. As a result, lauric acid has "a more favorable effect on total:HDL cholesterol than any other fatty acid, either saturated or unsaturated".

For easier evaluation the source is Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials.


Opinion on the appropriateness of the changes is sought. Thank you. Lambanog (talk) 04:37, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

A source should not be removed just because it's old. WP:MEDRS says this in regard to the recommendation that articles rely on recent research reviews: "These instructions are appropriate for actively researched areas with many primary sources and several reviews and may need to be relaxed in areas where little progress is being made or few reviews are being published." Those removing this source must show that it's been superseded by more recent research, and by reviews of that more recent research. If this meta-analysis hasn't been superseded, it can be used, and I would think that you would be able to quote from it. Regarding the book by Kabara, it could possibly be classified as popular media, and not allowable under MEDRS. I'd say it depends on whether it's evidence-based — that is, whether all of his assertions are backed up by published peer-reviewed studies. including citations to those studies. Regarding the article by McNamara, primary sources aren't completely disallowed under MEDRS. Secondary sources are better, but primary sources can be used, as long as they're not cherry picked to make a point and as long as they aren't obviously superseded by more recent research and research reviews. But an article should mainly be based on secondary sources. The impact factor of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition is good: 2.36. TimidGuy (talk) 10:50, 15 March 2011 (UTC) Note that if the article by McNamara is used, you'd need to attribute to him and include his affiliation with the egg industry. TimidGuy (talk) 10:54, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Mensin, the AJCN article linked above, also states that "Total:HDL cholesterol is more sensitive and specific than is total cholesterol as a risk predictor (8–10), but the favorable effects on this ratio by such factors as coconut fat, which is rich in lauric acid, do not exclude the possibility that coconut fat may promote CAD through other pathways, known or as yet unknown." Hence the far more equivocal statement. This is a discussion that should occur on the coconut oil talk page, where it is pretty clear that most editors do not think it is a good idea to present coconut oil as recognized as a healthy fat, or to portray it as unjustifiably maligned.
Though McNamara would probably be OK as a source (it appears to be a review article) the abstract seems to focus on palm oil. I'd like to see a full text. I'm concerned that the page is being used to promote coconut oil as a healthy fat when the scientific consensus doesn't clearly support this. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 11:05, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind if the above equivocation was deemed necessary as inelegant as it is, but there is absolutely no reason to remove the explicit findings on the TC/HDL-C ratio while still retaining the wording indicating lauric acid raises total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is an inferior risk indicator to the TC/HDL-C ratio; to be clear on the lower quality indicator but vague on the higher quality indicator is simply misleading. I'm concerned the latest information is being blocked for unfounded reasons. I do not object to presentation of evidence regarding coconut oil whether favorable or unfavorable—indeed I was the one to include the reference to the stand of the FDA—but it is incumbent on those who disagree with the indications of the presented evidence to provide evidence of similar or higher quality to support their views. Currently those who are disagreeing with me are resorting to the removal of valid sources or downplaying the significance of the results by obscuring key findings. I myself would be interested in finding the strongest opposing views based on science but in my own attempts to get to the bottom of the FDA's spiel on saturated fats I could not find anything that looked solid in light of the latest evidence. Lambanog (talk) 13:24, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
This is the RSN though, it's meant to only discuss whether specific sources are reliable. Discussions on how reliable sources should be integrated and summarized should take place on the talk page of the specific article. It's too confusing to track this across multiple pages and the RSN commentors may not be interested in specifics of how the sources are summarized. You may want dispute resolution if you feel the talk page isn't addressing your points, but this kind of thing should really be brougth up at talk:coconut oil. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 16:18, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Dispute resolution includes noticeboards like this one as an appropriate venue to resolve disputes but I have discussed and will continue to discuss on the talk page as well. Lambanog (talk) 14:56, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Meta-analyses removals

The inclusion of these two meta-analyses is being disputed and they are being removed for unclear reasons Diff of short version removal Diff of more detailed version removal:

  • Siri-Tarino, Patty W., Qi Sun, Frank B. Hu, and Ronald M. Krauss. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91 (3): 535-546. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725.
  • Mente A, de Koning L, Shannon HS, Anand SS (April 2009). "A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease". Arch. Intern. Med. 169 (7): 659–69. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.38. PMID 19364995. Free full-text

I would like to include them especially given the parade of health organizations put forth opposing basing their recommendation on the research on saturated fat. My own look suggests the data is rather ambiguous and comparison of the meta-analyses behind the guideline statements is required for a good understanding of all pertinent facts. Lambanog (talk) 06:04, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

No one is disputing these two articles are RS, so this is the wrong noticeboard for this. Yobol (talk) 06:12, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
They were removed nonetheless as seen in the above diffs I've now included and it was unclear if you considered them reliable sources or not. I take it from your comment that you will not remove them if I use them in the article again? Lambanog (talk) 14:56, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
No, see the extensive discussion on the talk page. Yobol (talk) 15:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Then my request here for opinions from others remains. Lambanog (talk) 17:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Further reading removals

I'm sorry for coming here yet again to make another request for an opinion but the following have all been removed from the further reading section and is an indication to what I have been facing in trying to add sources: Diff.

  • Hegde, B.M. (2006).View Point: Coconut Oil – Ideal Fat next only to Mother's Milk (Scanning Coconut's Horoscope). JIACM 7: 16-19.
  • Kabara, Jon J. (2008). Fats Are Good for You and Other Secrets – How Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Actually Benefit the Body. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1556436904.
  • Applewhite, Thomas H. (Ed.). (1994). Proceedings of the World Conference on Lauric Oils – Sources, Processing, and Applications. The American Oil Chemists Society. ISBN 093531556X.
  • Leonard, Edward C., Edward G. Perkins, and Arno Cahn. (Eds.). (1999). Proceedings of the World Conference on Palm and Coconut Oils for the 21st Century – Sources, Processing, Applications, and Competition. The American Oil Chemists Society. ISBN 0935315993.
  • Nevin, K. G. and T. Rajamohan. (September 2004). Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. Clinical Biochemistry 37 (9): 830-835.
  • Norton D, Angerman S., Istfan N., Lopes S.M., Babayan V.K., Putz M.C., Steen S.N., Blackburn G.L. (June–December 2005). Effect of dietary fats and fatty acid chain length on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in healthy men. Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies 30 (1 and 2): 1-12. ISSN 0115-3463.

Are these sources okay in further reading? Note the value of some of these articles go beyond just medicine, but also cover social and economic dimensions. My view is that the pattern of removal of these sources is imposing a Western POV which given the subject is wholly inappropriate and unjustified and is in violation of WP:NPOV aside from the violation of WP:Preserve which are both policies not just guidelines. The extent of opposition I am receiving to the adding of sources—something that is supposedly to be encouraged—is of concern. It should also be considered that while those opposing the addition of my sources claim to be speaking for the mainstream, a search of Google books appears pretty lopsided against their supposed view of mainstream. I have asked the opposing editors to supply sources to balance out anything that they feel is too one-sided but they seem to be removing more than they are adding. Opinions? Lambanog (talk) 05:53, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Certainly these are all reputable sources. Some are primary sources, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious reason for deleting everything. The only current guide we have seems to be WP:FURTHER. Plus, there's the proposed guideline WP:Further reading. Following the latter proposed guideline, I'd say, off the top of my head, that the list be secondary sources, balanced, and short. TimidGuy (talk) 10:43, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Monolaurin, coconut oil, and human breast milk

Discussion on talk page seems to have resolved this sub-issue. Lambanog (talk) 15:21, 21 March 2011 (UTC) Well I thought it might have been but apparently not.... Lambanog (talk) 18:59, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello again. Yes I know.

I wish to include the statement: "Coconut oil also shares many similarities and fats like monolaurin found in human breast milk"

I don't see anything controversial about it and supported the statement with the following sources:

  • Thormar, H; Isaacs, CE; Brown, HR; Barshatzky, MR; Pessolano, T (1987). "Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides". Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 31 (1): 27–31. PMC 174645. PMID 3032090
  • Amarasiri, Wadl (2009). "Coconut fats". Ceylon Medical Journal 51 (2). doi:10.4038/cmj.v51i2.1351

Nonetheless the statement and sources were removed (diff of first removal) per supposed SYN and NPOV problems was the reason stated in the edit summary although I think the statement being supported is pretty factual and straightforward and the complaint groundless. Still because of comments on the talk page (talk page diff) I added it back without the supporting sources since some of the comments in those sources were being objected to although they were extraneous to the statement being supported. Another editor comes in and removes the statement once again (diff of second removal) this time for not having sources. Are the sources above enough to support the statement? Should the statement be reworded? If so, what would be a suitable rewording? Thank you for your patience. Lambanog (talk) 14:42, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Both of these studies appear to be basic (as opposed to clinical) research and as such appear to be reliable sources. I would think that you could use them in a limited way for information about metabolism of coconut fats and the antiviral effects of human milk. But any medical claims regarding health benefits would probably need clinical studies and ideally a research review of those studies. And any similarities between human milk and coconut would would need to be explicitly contained in the source. We can't ourselves, as Wikipedia editors, make such observations. TimidGuy (talk) 10:48, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Further reading removal again

Another source removed from further reading:

Reason given for removal in edit summary was "scholarly only, thanks". Author was a well-respected doctor, arguably the leading expert on the subject. Lambanog (talk) 11:27, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

More removed:

  • Salunkhe, D.K., J.K. Chavan, R.N. Adsule, and S.S. Kadam. (1992). World Oilseeds – Chemistry, Technology, and Utilization. Springer. ISBN 9780442001124.

Lambanog (talk) 08:45, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Again, there's no clear direction in the guidelines regarding Further Reading, other than WP:FURTHER, which doesn't say much, and the proposed WP:Further reading. The latter stipulates RS-compliance, but says that other sources may be appropriate. The first title mentioned above, being a popular book, would be debatable in terms of RS. I don't see any reason for removing the Springer volume, since Springer is one of the most respected academic presses and clearly meets RS standards. TimidGuy (talk) 10:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I removed it on the basis of being nearly 20 years old, and not specifically on coconut oil. I have no objection to it being a source, but as an old book that's about oilseeds rather than coconut oil specifically, I don't see a reason to include it. And because I expect it to come up, I removed this volume from 1928 because it's over 80 years old and I expect the science has moved on since then. It's possible that there are simply not any appropriate (scholarly, book-length information on coconuts - or more accurately, coconut oil) further reading options. I definitely do not think it's appropriate to include a large, or small number of popular sources that claim coconut oil is a miracle food capable of helping people lose weight, cure disease, lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks (as Dayrit, 2005 did). I see further reading much like I see external links - something to be kept to a small number with high quality. Reliability is one standard that must apply, but so must span of information. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The book World Oilseeds has extensive coverage of coconut oil.[22]. It's unlikely that the chemistry of coconut oil has changed since 1992. I believe there's no RS justification for having deleted this. TimidGuy (talk) 10:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that World Oilseeds should not have been removed. Further readings should often include works that are not solely on the topic of the article, but place the subject within a larger perspective. In this case it would seems that not only does World Oilseeds do that, but it also has detailed coverage of the subject. --16:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

More removed:

  • Grimwood, Brian E., F. Ashman, D.A.V. Dendy, C.G. Jarman, E.C.S. Little, and W.H. Timmins. (1975). Coconut Palm Products – Their processing in developing countries. Rome: FAO. ISBN 9789251008539.
  • Kaunitz, H. and Dayrit, C.S. (December 1992). Coconut oil consumption and coronary heart disease. Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies 17 (2): 18-20. ISSN 0115-3463.

Lambanog (talk) 15:32, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

What's the rationale behind removing the Grimwood et al. FAO book? From the details here it looks sensible and worth listing as further reading. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:49, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Supposedly it's too old according to the edit summary [23] Lambanog (talk) 16:07, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Grimwood is interesting primarily from an historical perspective. But I see no reason to delete from /* Further reading */, unless to replace it with something better. I didn't find anything to replace it with. I didn't find Kaunitz and Dayrit (1992) particularly enlightening. --Bejnar (talk) 16:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I removed Grimwood as it is a rather old source (do we really think processing of coconuts hasn't changed in 35 years?) - though if the consensus is that it should be included for historical considerations I won't strenuously object. I note that it may be better to add a small section to the article usign Grimwood as a source (instead of just Further Reading) if people think historical processing of coconuts is that important, though. I removed Kaunitz and Dayrit as part of the longstanding push by Lambanog to push fringe health information about coconut oil into the article. Regarding the World Oilseeds, I was probably too quick on the revert button, as I agree with TimidGuy that at least the chemistry portion of coconut oil would not be affected by the age of the source. I would welcome further eyes on this and other related pages such as Mary G. Enig where I believe a certain fringe medical perspective is being pushed. Yobol (talk) 16:44, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Further reading is akin to external links, a place to have lengthy, highly-relevant texts discussing the topic of the page that are not already integrated as a source. If we want a historical perspective of coconut oil, then a history of coconut oil is needed. Grimwood is a book from 1975, not a book about 1975 and I don't think it's appropriate to have a different further reading for every quarter century. There's no requirement to have a further reading section at all and I see no reason to have it filled with a hodge-podge of questionable texts. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:28, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Grimwood is not a questionable text. It is a scientific/technical FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) publication of 261 pages with good solid content, read together with the earlier Thieme, J. G. (1968) Coconut Oil Processing it gives a good over-view of the industry in the late 20th century. It was not written as a history book, that doesn't mean that it cannot be read as one. However, in fact, many of the processes described are still in use. --Bejnar (talk) 20:25, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The fact that a section is mandatory doesn't mean it can be deleted just due to a personal whim. I.e. there needs to be at least an arguable reason and in doubt some consensus among involved authors. Simply declaring an FAO book (Grimwood) as a "hodge-podge of questionable text" is hardly an arguable reason but rather a 'hodge-podge of questionable arguing".--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:16, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Given that there's disagreement regarding additions to Further Reading, I suggest that editors involved in this article follow the advice in WP:Further reading, even though it's only a proposed guideline. It will help give some basis for proceeding. I object to removing something because an editor thinks it's fringe, and I object to the labeling of other editors as pushing a fringe point of view (see WP:AGF). Rather, focus on applying Wikipedia policies and guidelines. If Kaunitz and Dayrit doesn't merit inclusion, it should be because it's not compliant with a guideline such as WP:MEDRS and not because someone deems it fringe. TimidGuy (talk) 10:28, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

More removed:

  • Foale, M.A. and G.R. Ashburner. (2005). Chapter 6. The Coconut Palm. In Chopra, V. L. and K. V. Peter (Eds.) Handbook of Industrial Crops. Routledge. pp. 235–294. ISBN 9781560222835.
  • Snowdon, Wendy, Tom Osborn, Bill Aarlbersberg, and Jimaima Schultz. (2003). Coconut – Its role in health. Secretariat of the Pacific Community. ISBN 982-203-941-7.

Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial

1660 Safed massacre (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

A new editor has been proliferating numerous articles such as the above, alleging massacres of Jews by Arabs, largely sourced to Joan Peters' highly discredited book From Time Immemorial. Peters said that in 1660, the entire Jewish community of Safed was massacred by Arabs (possibly unaware that the city was under Ottoman, therefore Turkish rule). Other Jewish sources, such as the Safed city web site and the Jewish Virtual Library, make no mention of a 1660 massacre. I have edited the article for neutrality, but wanted the take of other editors on whether Joan Peters must be left in (and balanced) or can be deleted from these articles as an unreliable source, given the near-universal criticism (including from Israeli historians) of her methods. I don't see anything in our archives on this. Jonathanwallace (talk) 05:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Not a reliable source. TFD (talk) 06:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Just in passing - the Ottoman empire may have been under Turkish rule but the population at the time was largely Arab. It isn't a howler to suggest that the population of Safed in 1660 was largely Arab, it may well have been true, and you can't use that to establish unreliability without definite evidence to the contrary. Hyperdoctor Phrogghrus (talk) 06:32, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Another editor has now added the following sources:
David P. Dolan (1991). Holy war for the promised land T. Nelson. ISBN 0840733259 Religious/inspirational publisher
Jacob De Haas (1934). History of Palestine. Early Zionist leader
3. Midstream. Theodore Herzl Foundation. Also a Zionist organization
Reality check please on my belief that Zionist individuals and groups and a Christian inspirational publisher are not reliable historical sources for the assertion that Arabs killed Jews in Safed in 1660. I am not seeing a single independent historian making the assertion.Jonathanwallace (talk) 07:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Ther was undoubtedly a report of a massacre. Rather like the report in the French chronicles that the English massacred the inhabitants of Limoges in the 1370s, which is also doubted by recent historians. This report was in the 1912 Jewish Encyclopedia, which must have got it from somewhere, and was repeated without question by De Haas and others since. Scholem's book is recent scholarship so must trump the other reports. Perhaps merge with the article on Safed or use Scholem's sceptical source for a short mention in History of antisemitism. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:01, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I did see a reference to the JE, but actually can't find the "massacre" report in it. Here in the article on Safed, there is no mention. Just that "During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was marked rabbinic activity in Safed". Still, the report must have come from somewhere, in order to be recycled from the early C20 till now. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:07, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Thanks for taking a look. This is a classic example of WP:REDFLAG, including the original editor claiming a conspiracy to suppress the information. As was argued recently in a section here on rape in Poland after World War II, shouldn't we push for the most rigorous scholarly sources to support a claim of this type? A mass murder of Jews by Arabs should not be sourced to throw-away sentences in a handful of tertiary sources published by Zionist organizations and Christian inspirational publishers, and that's what we have now. I am holding out for at least one assertion by a credentialed historian in a fact-checked or peer reviewed source, and there are none. Its highly suspicious that our own article on Safed, and other sources such as Jewish Virtual Library and apparently the JE say nothing of any massacre in 1660. Jonathanwallace (talk) 12:41, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I think you are getting a little carried away here in trying to discredit the sources that claim a massacre occurred. Some of these sources may or may not be reliable (Peters, Dolan), but to claim that we can't use a publication from a mainstream publisher because the author of the work was a "Zionist" is ridiculous, and not backed up by anything in policy. De Haas's "History of Palestine" was published by MacMillan, a mainstream publishing house, and not a 'Zionist organization'. It was reviewed by an academic, peer-reviewed journal (The Jewish Quarterly Review) which is a publication of the University of Pennsylvania Press, that according to its publisher "is the oldest English-language journal in the fields of Jewish studies. Edited at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the journal aims to publish the finest work in all areas of Jewish studies." The review of the book found it to be "encyclopedic in content and style" and "valuable as a ready reference book on the history of Palestine." The only fault found in it was that it "attempts to be too complete" and thus "not conducive to making it a popular book". This is clearly a reliable source by our standards. Tzu Zha Men (talk) 22:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
De Haas, per our Wikipedia bio, was not a professional historian and in fact served on the Propaganda Committee of the World Zionist organization. I take his book as a work of advocacy, and not necessarily as a reliable source for fact assertions that there was a mass murder of Jews in Safed. As I just posted at the AFD discussion, the article continues to lack a reference to a single academic historical work telling what actually happened in Safed in 1660. Jonathanwallace (talk) 03:06, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
De Haas's book was published and reviewed in 1938. It should not be used as a secondary source. TFD (talk) 04:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The claim that there was a massacre evidently dates at least back to 1853 (per this book which cites Samson Bloch's Shevilei Olam)). That doesn't mean it's true, of course. The fact that none of these sources, even unreliable ones, can give any information about the massacre other than that there was supposedly a single Jewish survivor (the stuff of legends!) is a red flag. Since we have no reason to believe this happened, nor is it even a well-discussed belief, this does not need to have an article. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:29, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
There are numerous distinct issues in this discussion. One is the reliability of Joan Peter's book as a citable source for a Wikipedia article. Another is the reliability of this or that source given in her footnotes, which is a different matter. First in regard to Peters's book, it is claimed by Jonathanwallace that this is a "highly discredited book." Of course, that depends on whose views we are talking about. In general, strong anti-Zionists including Norman Finkelstein, people discredited in themselves, see it as discredited, others do not. Jonathanwallace apparently considers that "Zionists" should not even be cited as reliable sources, and therefore De Haas and even Midstream magazine contributors are per se unreliable. I am afraid that this contention merely discredits Jonathanwallace. It would be a scandal if such prejudice determined encyclopedia policy about "reliable sources" in Wikipedia articles. It is not a reproach to De Haas nor to Midstream reliability that they are supportive of Zionism. Neither is it a reproach to Joan Peters. Peters' book has plenty of strong scholarly supporters, including Daniel Pipes and Ronald Sanders, specialists in Middle Eastern history, who refute one Israeli anti-Zionist critic of the book in a response in the New York Review of Books, and Peters' pivotal demographic arguments, it is seldom if ever mentioned by critics, relied for their statistical analysis on Philip Hauser, who was at one time head of the American Census Bureau, was the President of the American Statistical Association in 1962, and who was a world-recognized authority on statistical method. This is acknowledged by Peters in the opening pages of her book, and in the crucial appendix VI, written by Hauser, dealing with methodology and population statistics. Furthermore, Peters' reliability has been confirmed by other scholarly studies of the central topics of her book that were so harshly attacked by anti-Zionists, such as the article by Fred Gottheil, "The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931," Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 10, no. 1 (Winter, 2003): pp. 53-64. Arieh L. Avneri, The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948, translated from the Hebrew (Transaction Books, 1982), also quite independently of Peters (his book was written before hers) proves her case in elaborate and expert detail, analysing most of the same sources. It can therefore be safely concluded that her contentions have been very fully confirmed. However, for the purposes of this discussion here, and without ruling one way or another on the debate over her book, we can safely say that Peters' book is not discredited, merely controversial. This does not make it per se unreliable. Almost all books about Israel or the Palestinians or Middle East conflicts themselves are controversial, regardless of their scholarly worth. This is because people are being killed and countries attacked or defended, with strong feelings involved and some very partisan advocates quite ready to inveigh against even the most fully researched, measured and scholarly accounts if they do not like them.
So we turn to the specific sources used by Peters. The assertions made that justify Jacob de Haas' "unreliability" do no such thing. That he is a Zionist, as mentioned, is neither here nor there in this regard. And it is no indication of "unreliability" that his book was published in 1934 (as cited by Peters, note 38, p. 177, not "1938" as claimed by The Four Deuces). His is one of the most in-depth histories of the Palestine region we have. It is often cited by other authorities and is suitable for reference in an encyclopedia. In the specific reference to de Haas that Peters gives, on this topic of the massacre of 1660 in Safed, note 38 to p. 177, see the note itself on p. 494, she very responsibly also gives de Haas' own cited source, M. Franco, Essai sur l'Histoire des Israelites de l'Empire Ottoman (Paris, 1897), p. 88. This too is a responsible source, and justifies the assertions made. Gershom Scholem, in his Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah (Princeton UP, 1973), pp. 186 and 187, tells us that contemporary manuscripts from that period speak explicitly of the "destruction" of Safed's Jewish community in 1660. The region was extremely unstable in general, but some Jews moved to the city in the next few years and reestablished a community there, as Scholem indicates. However, on p. 368 of the same book Scholem rejects the idea that there had been at least an "utter destruction" in 1662, two years later. I am not sure whether two quite different times have not been confused by Scholem himself, nor is his general terminology contradictory to the occurrence of a major massacre. He also refers to a significant "decline in numbers" at this time, relying on M. Benayahu in an article in 'Eres Yisra'el, III (1954), 244-48. He then speaks (in note 81, p. 368), of a contemporary French trader's visit to a "lively" Jewish community in 1660, although this of course could well have been before the massacres and so is not a disproof of them. I have not searched other historical sources further; something pretty drastic occurred in 1660, according to sources available to us, that caused a significant sudden decline in population. That we lack exact detail is not a decisive objection. We lack exact detail about most events in the past related in contemporary accounts. That does not prove that they did not happen. The assertion by Rosceles that the claim that there was one Jewish survivor shows that the account is mythical does not hold water, either. It is conceivable that contemporary accounts modified events as contemporary third-hand accounts generally do, but the historicity of these events is not annihilated by that. The statements based on these contemporary and later sources therefore should be allowed to stand in the Wikipedia article, perhaps with suitable caveats concerning vagueness of sources about details (including Scholem).Tempered (talk) 00:46, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

The Daily Beast

Bringing The Daily Beast up again, as there are conflicting interpretations about what previous discussions on this said. You may want to first choose answers in general and then see the specifics after.

1) Is it overall a quality news site or opinion blog aggregator? 2) Should it be used as a source for fact-based claims on an article under BLP editing restrictions, specifically when there are countless other sources that could be used instead as sources for the exact same information? 3) Can it be used as a source for specific people's opinions on a topic if clearly labeled as such in the BLP article?

Specific information that may give additional: Was used on BLP-restricted Murder of Meredith Kercher to cite posts by Barbie Nadeau -- a journalist who has written a book (published by Beast Books - reliable or not? for a BLP?) generally considered the most notable book promoting the position that the two main defendants are guilty -- for facts that are well represented in more mainstream news sources (CNN/BBC/etc.).

I'd like responses from WP:UNINVOLVED editors, so if you've already posted to the talk page of that article, please let others weigh in. DreamGuy (talk) 00:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I just looked at a number of articles and didn't see any original reporting. It seems to be primarily opinion and commentary. I'd be inclined not to use it for fact-based claims or opinions in a BLP. I wish we could limit usage of blogs to only those by reputable journalists associated with recognized news organizations. TimidGuy (talk) 11:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
There's no reason we can't do that and it would be the appropriate solution for this case. --FormerIP (talk) 11:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Except, of course, that there are better, non blog sources from journalists who have not directly taken a partisan side on this topic. You didn't mention that you are involved in the dispute on the article. Coincidentally, I'm sure, use of this author's blogs over more reliable sources would promote the author whose opinions on the case you share and end up advocating a POV. That's why outside opinions were asked for. guess you couldn't restrain yourself. DreamGuy (talk) 18:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Can you present one of the links in question - if theres no editorial control then it soulds like an opinionated self puublished blog' Off2riorob (talk) 18:11, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
It appears to be primarily an aggregator of opinions (and so describes them) meaning that BLP use must be highly scrutinized to say the least. When in doubt, leave opinions out of BLP articles or articles which impact BLP articles. Collect (talk) 18:25, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
"When in doubt" would be right enough. However, general observations about the publication are not the issue here. Individual sources should be considered individually. The writer we are talking about is a journalist for the site - we are not talking about aggregated content. --FormerIP (talk) 20:34, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

UN Women: Women do 66% of the World's Work

On the feminist movement page, an editor has written:

According to UN Women,"Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property."

and provided the citation: "Facts & Figures on Women, Poverty & Economics, Report published by UN Women", which links to the webpage [24]. See talk page [25].

While at first it may seem counterintuitive to say that UN Women is not a reliable source for this claim, please bear with me.

I have spent many hours (at least 10) looking for the original source/ research which shows that "women do 66% of the world's work". However, I could not find any such research. It appears to be an unverified claim. If anyone else can find it, please do tell.

Why I feel that UN Women is not a reliable source to make this statement that "women do 66% of the world's work":

-UN Women has not conducted any research which provides statistical evidence that this is true.
-It does not cite anyone else's research which shows that women do 66% of the world's work.
-It provides as a citation for its claim, a UNICEF webpage, which states that "While it is estimated that women perform two-thirds of the world’s work, they only earn one tenth of the income, and own less than one per cent of the world’s property."
-The UNICEF page UN Women links to does not provide any source at all for its claim.
-The UNICEF page says that "it is estimated that..." but it does not say by whom. (Is this not an example of "weasel words"[26]?)
-While UNICEF says "it is estimated that..." the UN Women page does not say that, but states it as a fact.
-Note the subtle difference between 66% and "two thirds".
-There is no author of the webpage in question.
-As further evidence of UN Women's shoddy workmanship on this statement, the UNICEF webpage which it cites does not support the "50% of food" statement.

I should also mention that the citation on the Feminist Movement page says that this is a "report", but actually it is a webpage.

I do not deny that UN Women may be a reliable source for other issues and concerns related to gender. For example, if they were to state that "women do more work than men", that would be more reasonable (and in fact there is research which shows this). However, UN Women is not qualified to make the statement that "women do 66% of the world's work", because they have no expertise to make claims about women's work as a percentage of the whole, on a global scale.

The wikipedia policy states that: "The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context." I am arguing that in this context, UN Women is not a reliable source.

Further, there is a strong social reason not to include this statement, as it could lead to bias and prejudice against men. It could easily lead to attitudes that men are lazy, for example. It could lead to discrimination against men in employment decisions. I feel that unless this claim is verified by research, it should not be included in the wikipedia page on "the Feminist Movement".

This refs your showing use here are old enough that you should be able to find this in other places (meaning they should be widely published if reliable). If " other reliable published sources" do not include the information that has been found in only "ONE" location (web page, news paper, book etc - that information is—by definition—not reliable enough to include - as per (undue weight). That said the ref look well sourced and is by a well respected ogranization. I will be honest it sounds a bit off this numbers - but the UN does do well with there stats, so i think its going to be a hard one to dismiss.Moxy (talk) 05:20, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I guess one could argue that for facts like this that if there is no sign of a detailed study, then maybe that is a sign there is none, and that therefore WP should avoid reporting too much about it, however (a) I would question that if a Wikipedian can not find the sources after 10 hours that this means there is no such source and (b) not only is this a good strong source, but it is attributed, which reduces the controversy anyway.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused by the unreliability claims. Which is more reliable from the Wikipedia perspective, the questioner's assertions about the reliability of "the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women" who cite figures from the UNICEF source [27] or the United Nations sources themselves ? The UN are surely a reliable source for their own statements attributed to them in Wikipedia articles. Can someone demonstrate, using reliable sources, that the figures are contradicted by other reliable sources that could be added to the article or can the questioner suggest sources that are more reliable than the United Nations for this information ? Sean.hoyland - talk 07:34, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The large problem is the definition of "work" as the UN defines a man working as only "productive work" (an unemployed man does zero work) while most women are credited with at least 12 hours of work a day including "housework." I recall the old parable which ends with "so all of the work is done just by me and thee, and lately it seems thee has not been doing thy fair share." It is similar to the statistic that a wife is worth $200,000 a year for the work she does (100 hours as doctor at $500/hr, etc.) ... while economists suggest that the value of a person's work is what another person would reasonably pay for the job done. In short - the statistic is a gemacht one entirely. Collect (talk) 10:34, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Our rule on use of statistical data says, " Misinterpretation of the material is easy and statistics are frequently reported ambiguously in the media, so any secondary reference to statistical data should be treated with considerable care....sound secondary sources will comment on the impact of the questioning strategy and the sample questioned and this should be referred to in the article." See also WP:REDFLAG; this is an assertion that "would significantly alter mainstream assumptions...", thus "Exceptional claims require high-quality sources". Jonathanwallace (talk) 10:45, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you all for taking this issue seriously as the editors on the Feminist Movement page just dismissed what I said and then refused to comment further. They further struck out my addition when I tried to add that "UN Women does not provide any primary/empirical evidence to support this statement." @ Moxy- it is true that this statistic has been recycled endlessly, but there have been cases in the past where false statistics have been widely printed, only later to have been revealed to be false. I was just reading about a statistic where a few women's groups were claiming that 150,000 women died per year from anorexia, but it was later revealed to be only 100 (I can provide a link if you are interested). @Andrew Lancaster, I agree that the fact that I cannot find it does not mean there is no empirical study, but usually when there is an empirical study to back up the claim, the original source usually comes up quite quickly. Further, I wrote to about 10 different organizations that had posted this information (including 2 UN agencies), but none of them ever replied. I do think that professionally, if an organization wants to make such claims which could so negatively impact one gender, they should be able to back up their claim when requested. @Sean Hoyland- actually the data are directly contradicted by the data in the UN HDR 04 study, which is the only data I could find that even comes close to addressing men and women's labor globally. I realize that by wikipedia standards I am not allowed to do even basic mathematical computations, but if you look at that source [28], on page 233, you will see data for minutes of men's and women's labor. Even in the worst countries (i.e. most unequal), women's labor accounts for only 54.5% of a total 100% (617 minutes/total 1132 minutes=54.5%). Also Catherine Hakim has conducted research showing that, in Europe at least, men and women work virtually identical amounts (I can provide a link if you wish.) Please note: 54.5% is a long way from 66%. "Can the user suggest data which is more reliable?" Yes. UNDP's HDR 04 report. @Jonathan Wallace- Can you please be more clear about which way you are arguing? Are you saying it is not a reliable source? Finally, I want to address that the UN is such a reliable source. This is a problem, that people put the UN on a pedestal, and think that it is this unassailable source, but I have worked for two different UN agencies, and I can assure you that they are not as great as you think. I know that you probably think that is irrelevant, but I think its important to check your assumptions about the UN. Finally, I know a few people who work at UN Women, so hopefully I can contact them and get a clear response from them (as opposed to just ignoring my e mails). I look forward to any more comments. (talk) 11:19, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
@Sean Hoyland- the link you provided to UNICEF goes to a page that does not exist. What is your point in providing the link to UN Women's webpage? Are you trying to impress us with their webpage? Don't get me wrong- I have nothing against UN Women, but I don't think it is beyond a UN agency to put something on their website which is an unverified claim. (talk) 11:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think its not reliable. Statistical pronouncements such as this one should not be used for their underlying truth, unless the speaker also discloses a source of the information which can be evaluated.Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Yesterday, another editor suggested I get a user account. So here it is. I'm the same person who previously posted the reliable source request on this noticeboard. And by the way, this was not an April Fool's joke.Liberation3 (talk) 16:24, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Pike vs Baby Seal

Is John E. Pike a reliable source on the general capabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II? Hcobb (talk) 18:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Some questions have come about regarding as a notable source, and those discussions can be found using a search of this noticeboards archive; If I remember correctly the discussion was that the usage of the website is a case to case basis. Preferably, one would look at the sources used to build the content of that site, which were/are open source, and most of those fall under WP:RS or may fall under primary source regarding the subject in question. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
However, is the question more about whether Pike could be used as an expert, and whether statements made by Pike could be used in the article? I don't see why quotes cannot be attributed to the Pike, but to what context to be used in the article is up to the active editors at that article. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:05, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
We generally don't identify individuals as reliable sources but rather look to published work as reliable sources. TimidGuy (talk) 10:57, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Do these sources support the claim?

Some user argued that following statement:

"In 1948, an anti-colonial guerrilla war, the "Malayan emergency", started between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army. The insurgents were led by the Malayan Communist Party and their their actions were labeled at first as "banditry" then later as "Communist terrorism" in British propaganda[10][neutrality is disputed][11] to deny the partisans' political legitimacy, to locate the Malayan Emergency in a broader context of the Cold War[12] and to preserve a British business interests in Malaya, which would be heavily affected had the British administration conceded that they faced a full scale anti colonial insurgency."

from the Communist terrorism article is not supported by the cited sources. The sources to support the text are as follows:

1. Phillip Deery. The Terminology of Terrorism: Malaya, 1948–52. Journal of Southeast Asia Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 231–247. The quote from this article states:

"In fact, the Malayan Races’ Liberation Army (MRLA), the military wing of the MCP, was a guerrilla force. It was similar to, for example, the Communist movement in China during 1928-45, the Huks in the Philippines from 1946 to the mid-1950s and the Vietminh in Indochina from 1941. Although historians have readily discerned the strategies of guerrilla in these rural-based rebellions and insurgents have often identified themselves as guerrillas, it was rarely a term used by authorities at the time. Guerrillas are proud to be called guerrillas, but to call them ‘bandits’ is to link them with criminality. A guerrilla is not a bandit; as Eric Hobsbawm points out, ‘banditry has next to no organization or ideology, and is totally inadaptable to modern social movements … [It] was and is inefficient in every way … [and] is incapable of effective guerrilla organization’. This obviously was not the case with the MRLA."
"The hybrid term ‘Communist terrorist’ accomplished two objectives. ‘Terrorist’, like ‘bandit’, sought to deny the MCP political legitimacy while ‘Communist’, as A. J. Stockwell noted, ‘located the emergency firmly in the Cold War’. The use of the term ‘terrorist’ was, of course, intended to demonise the MCP. Terrorists’ lack of legitimacy stems from their incapacity to effect change."

2. The second source is L Yew. Managing plurality: the politics of the periphery in early cold war singapore. International Journal of Asian Studies, 2010, 159-177. The quote is below:

"To this end, the British were prepared to direct propaganda that met these needs, hence they played down the external support of the communists so as to portray them as isolated, weakened, and therefore within the easy control of the British and local militia.32 They also tried to label communists as “bandits”, suggesting to the masses the clear and present threat to their financial and economic well-being. This term was to be further reified through social practices, and between February and April 1950 an “Anti-Bandit Month” was organized, mobilizing 420,000 people to work with security forces in an anti-insurgent operation. The “month” saw the mass issuance of publicity materials, radio talks, and speeches while participants helped conduct road checks and assist in squatter resettlement. 33 In one of the official Anti-Bandit Month publications, for instance, the image of the communist as a bandit was given characteristics that spoke to different ethnic communities in various ways. In general, the “bandits” were seen as hindering education, the conduct of trade unions in Malaya, and they were also seen to disrupt the financial livelihood for the Chinese, subvert Islam for Malays, and were identified as having become outcasts in India for the Malayan Indians.34 Following criticisms by the British Foreign Office on the myopic nature of “bandit”, the term was gradually phased out and replaced by “Communist terrorist”."

3. The third source is Nicholas J. White. Capitalism and Counter-Insurgency? Business and Government in the Malayan Emergency, 1948-57 Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 149-177. The quote is:

"...the commercial insurers (and the agency houses who represented them in Malaya) continued to offer cover, but at much enhanced premiums. Both the imperial and colonial governments went out of their way not to provoke the guarantors. For example, the Cabinet's Malaya Committee was careful to ensure in May 1950 that the changed official description of MCP insurgents from 'bandits' to 'communist terrorists' would not have an adverse effect on the insurance market."
At a meeting between Creech Jones and the RGA in August 1948, businessmen voiced concern that the insurance companies which offered protection against 'riot or civil commotion' might rule that the situation in Malaya amounted to 'rebellion or insurrection' and consequently would reject claims arising from strikes and terrorist activities. To safeguard the interests of its members, the RGA requested that the Malayan authorities desist from using words such as 'rebellion' or 'insurrection' in public statements and official documents. It was made plain that if this approach failed the government would be asked to meet all claims for loss of life and property. The commercial insurance market in Malaya was split between London and New York under so-called reinsurance arrangements. A view had to be taken on both sides of the Atlantic as to the exact status of the situation in Malaya. Neither the imperial nor the colonial government, however, was prepared to define the precise nature of the emergency."

Please, comment on that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:14, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

That is not entirely correct. I have said none of the other sources support Deery`s claim that communist terrorism was used as a part of british propaganda. As in they were called communist terrorists as a part of british propaganda as you have written ion the article. Tentontunic (talk) 15:21, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Since it has been declared that the whole piece of text will be removed because the Deery's claim has not been supported by other sources[29], I believe my question has been formulated correctly.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:32, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, supporit is supported. The British themselves called it propaganda. Tentontunic may believe that British imperialism never supported the use of propaganda, that anyone who challenged them from George Washington to Matatma Gandhi were terrorists, but that is a fringe view. TFD (talk) 16:04, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Were in the sources above does it say as "Communist terrorism" in British propaganda? Tentontunic (talk) 16:13, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Quotes ##1&2.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:16, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The first source says it, which is why the current discussion on the NPOV board about weight is ongoing. The second source does not say they were called communist terrorist as part of a British propaganda campaign. Tentontunic (talk) 16:23, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The second quote starts with "To this end, the British were prepared to direct propaganda that met these needs", then it describes how this story developed and it ends with: "Following criticisms by the British Foreign Office on the myopic nature of “bandit”, the term was gradually phased out and replaced by “Communist terrorist”." Thereby the quote confirms that (i) it was propaganda, (ii) it was the British propaganda, (iii) the idea to abandon the term "bandits" came from the British Foreign Office.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:33, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
That is your own personal synthesis of the source, it does not say they were called communist terrorists as part of british propaganda. Tentontunic (talk) 17:03, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
One good source is sufficient. See also Fueridi: "The representation of the Malayan guerrillas as criminals required a careful control over the vocabulary of prpaganda, with endless debates on which words to use to characterize them. In the end the term `bandit' was dropped in favour of `communist terrorist`." (p. 214)[30]
See above. Tentontunic (talk) 17:03, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
See, e.g. [31].--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:51, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Irrelevant, your failure to provide further sourcing which states that the MCP were called communist terrorists as part of a british propaganda campaign is the issue, and it is one of weight. Hence the ongoing issue on NPOV board. Tentontunic (talk) 19:05, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The question of weight is relevant only to a situation when at least two opposing viewpoint exist. I saw no well articulated alternative viewpoint so far.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:14, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
You do not get it do you? Deery is the alternative viewpoint, he says as much himself. Of all the sources I have read on the MCP none have said they were called communist terrorists as part of British propaganda. It is quite simply not the mainstream view on the matter, whic his why you have been unable to find another source which actually says this. Tentontunic (talk) 19:26, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

And in a newer paper by Deery he does not say it was propaganda at all, P Deery - Journal of Cold War Studies, 2007 - MIT Press. "But as one Foreign Office official noted, ‘it seems to me largely nonsense to refer to the Guerrillas as “bandits, pure and simple, a motley band of ruffians”...There is an extremely high degree of political training and organisation and to refer to them as bandits is to misunderstand the whole problem which they present.’ (PRO FO371/84478, Minute, A.E. Franklin to Malaya Committee, minutes of 3rd Meeting of the Malaya Committee, 7 May 1950). Moreover, the British belatedly discovered that ‘bandit’ was the identical term used by the Japanese occupiers during WW2 and, instead of de-legitimising the MCP, as intended, it led some Malayan Chinese to equate the British re-occupation with the Japanese occupation. On 20 May 1952 the hybrid term ‘Communist Terrorist’ or, simply, ‘CT’ replaced ‘bandit’ - presumably without jeopardising insurance cover" No mention of it being british propaganda there. Tentontunic (talk) 20:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Re "Deery is the alternative viewpoint" Alternative to what? What other sources say? One contemporary source (Yew) supports Deery's views by directly citing his the article where he expressed his views on "Communist terrorism". In connection to that, can anybody provide any contemporary source that questions the Deery's views?
Re the later Deery's article. He says nothing about that simply because the article's subject is different. However, the footnote #2 says:
"Although the conflict in Malaya bore many of the characteristics of a colonial war, the misnomer “emergency” was used throughout the twelve years. Similarly MCP guerrillas were labeled “bandits” (and later “Communist terrorists”), and the British counterinsurgency was termed the “Anti-Bandit Campaign.” The reasons for this are discussed in Phillip Deery, “The Terminology of Terrorism: Malaya, 1948–52,” Journal of Southeast Asia Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 231–247."
I would say, the source provided by TFD says essentially the same.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:59, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
No no a thousand time no. Provide one other source which actually says communist terrorist was used as part of a propaganda campaign by the british, you have not been able to find a single source to support Deery. Not one. That is why Deery`s view is alternative, because it outside the mainstream writing on the matter. Tentontunic (talk) 09:09, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Tentontunic, you started off trying to discredit this academic source but you have come up against a consensus that it is reliable for the article. If there is another academic source of equivalent or better quality that contradicts it, then the article must include both views. We will be pleased to advise here on the quality of any sources you wish to propose. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
And for the final time, it is not a question of reliability, it is one of weight. There most certainly is no consensus on the NPOV board as to to source at all, in fact the one uninvolved editor to have commented says it ought receive no weight at all. Tentontunic (talk) 09:52, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Fine, this board's job is done then for the time being. Feel free to come back if you need to, and I think others also will with further sources. Did I not also comment on the NPOV board? By the way, source quality is a factor in attributing weight, so in any further arguments you make relating to NPOV, bear in mind what has been said here. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:57, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I will of course bear in mind what you have said, I assumed you are an involved editor having said here you believe the source to be of use and having edited the article. Tentontunic (talk) 10:03, 3 April 2011 (UTC) again

There have been four discussions here regarding and all but one, which had no responses,[32] expressed lack of confidence in toonzone as a reliable source.[33][34][35] The comments made in the discussion about seem to apply to toonzone as well. Even if a non reliable source is correct on occasion, if its overall credibility is in doubt we can't simply use the parts we choose to saying, "Oh well, that part's reliable". That argument was used about by one editor and after the discussion here and a couple of ANI discussions he was indefinitely blocked for continuing to use Opinions please? I'd really like to put this one to bed. --AussieLegend (talk) 15:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

The main news part of the site is edited by experts in the animation field, and thus that part should be considered reliable. The hosted sites and the forums obviously should not be. --MASEM (t) 21:22, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The thing about the news, is that the site seem to get their news from fansites on at least one instance that I know of. Last time I checked, fansites were not reliable sources. Sarujo (talk) 22:43, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Do they blindly report it everything or do they scrutinize it then publish it? Fan sites are not WP:RS but they do on occasion get information from insider on and then post it while other WP:RS spread it. Its not a reason to exclude it in itself The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 03:18, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Is this a reliable source regarding Israel and the Palestinian territories? gives some information about the website, but when you click on the "Home" link, you get a "Not Found" error, and itself redirects to , the "Diyar Consortium". This page specifically, , is being suggested as a reliable source regarding the Murder of Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran - is it? Jayjg (talk) 21:16, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

No, its a self published source which describes itself as follows: "The Diyar Consortium is a group of Lutheran-based, ecumenically-oriented institutions serving the whole Palestinian community 'from the womb to the tomb', with an emphasis on children, youth, women & elders." Relevant at best for its own opinion, but not for any assertions of fact. Jonathanwallace (talk) 00:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)


I added content in an article today and had it reverted because a user claimed that the source was unreliable. The source that was used was BuzzFeed but if you look there is a number of editors that are there, and BuzzFeed is often mention in other reliable sources.[36][37] Truthsort (talk) 00:33, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

This appears to be an aggregator of content gathered from the Web, right? As such, it doesn't seem to be an appropriate source. If there's some information that an editor thinks could be used in Wikipedia, then perhaps the next step would be to consider whether the website where it originated is a reliable source. If so, then cite that. If there's some question, then post a query about the originating website here. TimidGuy (talk) 10:31, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
It is not an aggregator in that it is not entirley just linking to other news organizations. The content is more so about viral content and other things on the internet. The edit that I made that was reverted is this. Truthsort (talk) 20:21, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
there is probable a better source for it. I seem to remember that hitting the news sites a few days ago. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 03:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
It appears that this blog was the original source.[38] It was written by Marshall Kirkpactrick, who, as Vice President of Content Development at ReadWriteWeb, appears to be a paid professional.[39] It possibly meets RS standards. Whether or not it's appropriate to add to the article is an issue that the involved editors will have to decide. TimidGuy (talk) 10:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Still...its BuzzFeed. I'm sure if the content is good enough the information is on a reliable source. Candyo32 14:41, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Palestinian Media Watch

Is it a reliable source? --Al Ameer son (talk) 02:00, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Since they are analysts of media, theoretically we shouldn't need to use them as we should be able to go right to the media they're analyzing. What statement are they being cited for? Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Well I've recently started an article on famous (or infamous) Fatah commander Abu Ali Iyad. I want to eventually nominate it for GA status, but I need information regarding his role and participation in Fatah raids into Israel in 1966-67. I can't find anything online except pro-Fatah forums claiming he did lead attacks and there are some books provided by google that are giving me tidbits of info I can't really use. I have sources that say those attacks occurred, but they don't say who led them other than saying "Fatah terrorists/militants". The reason I want to know if PalMediaWatch is a reliable source (I wouldn't ever use it unless I had to btw) is because they are also providing information that says Abu Ali did participate in attacks on various Jewish towns in 1966 and they list those particular towns. Actually, they're just citing Palestinian Authority TV. They're accusing it of honoring "terrorist" Abu Ali Iyad. Here's the link: [40]. The info is towards the middle-end of the page. --Al Ameer son (talk) 02:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, they include a clip from the TV show in question, so the problem isn't the reliability of PMW per se; it's a. are they translating the Arabic correctly? (this should be easy to verify) and b. is PA TV a reliable source? (not as easy) Unless they have a reputation for doctoring tapes, which doesn't seem to be the case. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Not aware of any tape doctoring either, but anyway, in this case they just seem to be commemorating Abu Ali Iyad and listing his accomplishments. If anything I could write "Fatah claims/says/etc..." or "Palestinians claim..." I'd rather just state it outright without attribution though. What do you think? --Al Ameer son (talk) 02:59, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Btw, the Arabic translation checks out from what I heard. --Al Ameer son (talk) 04:48, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
The source would be Palestinian Authority TV, which I take it is a news station under the control of the PA (not of Fatah). It needs attributing to the news station. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:17, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Do we have to state that in the text or could we attribute the info to the TV station in the reference? Not really a big deal I guess, I just don't want it to seem like it's only the PA who credits Abu Ali Iyad as the one who led the attacks. --Al Ameer son (talk) 19:42, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I agree with Itsmejudith that given it is the only source, the statements should be attributed to the station in the text. Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:07, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

JSTOR and verifiability

Is an article available only through JSTOR sufficiently verifiable to meet WP:V and WP:PAYWALL? See [41] and Christian_terrorism#cite_note-gilmour-2 - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 23:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 00:28, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
There's no requirement that everyone have free access, Simon. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
If you have concerns that what is being sourced is not actually supported by the reference provided - you may ask one of the Wikipedians who have access to JSTOR to take a look for you. This are individuals who have been kind enough to share there access with us.Moxy (talk) 00:37, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Just checked, the source checks out. The doi is wrong though; I removed it. NW (Talk) 00:42, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
NW, could you tell us what the source says? Does Gilmour cite anything in support of his claim, or is it just a bare assertion? - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 00:46, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
It's a bare assertion. If you or anyone else want access to the source, send me an email and I'll respond shortly. NW (Talk) 00:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Done. Thanks!- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 00:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Simon, I didn't realize you didn't have access; I thought your use of the source was being questioned. I'm glad NW is helping you with that. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:54, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
No worries. It was both--I didn't have access and I wasn't sure whether JSTOR was good as a source. :) - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 02:40, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Muslim World Today

This website seems to me to be an SPS, yet editors are fighting over it at Israel and the apartheid analogy, so I bring it here for some non-involved comments. Thanks, Passionless -Talk 08:21, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Why do you think it is an SPS? WP:SPS describes individuals publishing their own work, and this is clearly something more than a personal website. I am not saying that definitely means it has a reputation for fact checking, but I am doubting that SPS is the correct way to discuss it?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems like it would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Some of the content appears to be from the Associated Press, which would meet RS standards. That would suggest the site as a whole can't be rejected out of hand. There's no indication of editorial oversight that I can see. Some of the contributors seem credentialed. Could you give an example of what has been added to WP from this source, as well as a link to the particular page that is being used as a source? TimidGuy (talk) 10:43, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Concerning editorial oversight an editor in chief is named who is at least not the same person as the journalists, so there is at least an indication.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:34, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
It does indeed not look an obvious case if WP:SPS, but in any case I would not use it as source based on its lack of reputation (and there should be enough more reputable sources be around). Also at least first glance I must say it reads a bit like an Israeli proxy posing as "muslim opinion". In short not WP:SPS, but I can't see any good reason to use it as a source and in the WP article in question there seems to POV battle going on, which is another reason to stick there to (highly) reputable/notable sources.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:40, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of whether it is a WP:SPS, it looks to be a questionable source for anything not clearly sourced elsewhere. It states that its editorial pages are sponsored by 'Council For Democracy And Tolerance', and the Council's 'Mission Statement' suggests that it has a clear purpose and agenda that is unlikely to meet required standards of neutrality. [42]. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:56, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
A source doesn't have to be neutral but reliable, however "muslim world today" most likely is neither--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:23, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I can't find any reference to this site on any reliable source. I don't think it's reliable or even notable. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, it's certainly a "captive" publication, in the sense that its owners do write much or most of its original content, and use it to publish their personal opinions. I had to put on my wiki-sleuth hat to determine this, and I'm not going to "show my work" here because to do so would expose the rather non-public family members that operate this web-only (according to this article) publication to undue scrutiny in this rather public forum .
I'd be happy to disclose that to any neutral admin who'd like to see it, though, to any admin, that is, who doesn't have "a horse in the race" re Wikipedia's I/P wars. Just send me an e-mail request if you fit that description, or ask a wholly uninvolved admin to do so. I'll also mention that any editor who's willing to spend the time can also verify my results using whois,, public directories, and a normal search engine, although it'll probably take a while. Please don't post any specific results from that search, though, if you choose to repeat it.
Alright, then: Muslim World Today was started by Tashbih Sayyed, who was listed on the site as editor-in-chief until he passed away in May, 2007. He was also the publication's owner. It appears to be a small project, and its assets, such as they are, very clearly continue to be owned by Sayyed's family. The project seems to have been kept up since the father's death by his two kids, especially by a young woman who appears to be Tashbih's daughter, Supna Zaidi.
That's fine in itself, and commendable, of course, but the current main page for Muslim World Today (.com) also lists Supna Zaidi as the editor-in-chief, and she certainly writes a significant part of the content/articles for the website, as did her father while he was alive. This seems to violate the "Roman Wall" that's necessary in a reliable source, and to tread pretty harshly on the toes of our policy against self-published sources. Supna has written for the website for quite some time, and at length, it appears:
  • Supna Zaidi, Muslim World Today, 12 April, 2008
  • Supna Zaidi, Muslim World Today, 30 January, 2009. Scroll down for photo and article.
  • Muslim World Today, partial archives Scroll down for articles by Supna Zaidi.
You can also verify that Supna's dad, Tashbih Sayeed, wrote much of the content for the publication before he died in 2007; see its archives for some examples. And the current, 26 March, 2011 edition, has both Supna and her dad's photo on the "cover" or main page of the website. The site continues to re-publish the father's old articles.
Some of the site's content appears with no byline at all, such as this denunciation on Muslim World Today from a few days ago of UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk's "Lies against Israel", as the site puts it. That seemed something of a red flag to me - so small an organization has no reason to do that - so I investigated further. It turns out that, under its own copyright, as if it were an article that Muslim World Today had written itself, the site copied this Zionist Organization of America press release verbatim, without attribution. That action alone prohibits us from taking the site as a reliable source. That's not something a publication can do and still support any claim to being a legitimate news outlet.
I have no way of knowing for sure, but the limited nature of the web site lead me to wonder whether other unattributed articles might be pro-Zionist press releases, as well, or be written by family members. There are some stories on the site from Associated Press writers, and I saw a copy of an article by Caroline Glick ( an outspoken advocate for Israeli policies who has urged Israelis to engage in "an information war" on their country's behalf ) of the Jerusalem Post. But I'm not sure that Muslim World Today is actually an AP affiliate or has any business relationship with the Jerusalem Post, at all, and I'm inclined to suspect that it does not.
As further evidence of a pro-Israel advocacy orientation of this publication, I note that in one of its articles entitled A Muslim in a Jewish Land, Tashbih Sayyed, its founder, owner, and then-editor-in-chief referred to Israel as the "Promised Land", which seems an odd thing for a Muslim to say, as does his additional assertion that

Media bias against Israel reminded me of the Nazi era German press that was recruited by Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels who picked up every hate-laden word against the Jews. Just like the German press who refused to print the truth about the gruesome atrocities in Europe's death camps - or claimed that it was all an exaggeration, the media today also ignores the Arab terrorism. I wanted to see if there was any truth in the media allegations that Israel was an apartheid state, undemocratic and discriminatory... I knew that a true Jewish State could not be undemocratic since democratic concepts were always a part of Jewish thinking and derived directly from the Torah. (emphasis mine)

Sayyed reiterates his "Promised Land" theme by closing the article with a statement about Israeli agriculture that seems pretty racist to me: "Israelis have proved beyond any doubt why God promised them this land – only they could keep it green." In that same article he wrote the truly remarkable statement, "The Israeli faith in democracy also explains their refusal to respond to Islamist terrorism in violent ways." I'm somewhat doubtful that international consensus would support the proposition that Israel is a pacifist nation that doesn't meet violence with violence.
Based on these statements, on his books, and on the propagandistic films he produced, and on other evidence I won't disclose here, it's my strong opinion that Sayyed was "Muslim" only in the sense of his ethnic background, and not in any religious sense at all. He was as fervent an apologist for Israel and as strong an opponent of the Palestinian cause as it's possible to be, and that was clearly the motivation for his life's work, including Muslim World Today.
You can also use search tools to verify that the (rather misleadingly named, imo) "Council for Democracy and Tolerance", also founded by Tashbih Sayyed, has the same street address as Muslim World Today. You can further verify that Supna Zaidi, the current editor-in-chief of Muslim World Today is an officer of that organization, and that a person with the same surname, who's also intimately connected with Muslim World Today, and who appears to be her sibling, is its Registered Agent. It doesn't appear to be an independently contolled organization at all, in other words. Further, the web site for Muslim World Today says it's "sponsored by" the "Council" and, more specifically, that its "editorial pages are sponsored by Council For Democracy And Tolerance". The Muslim World Today website also lists the Council's principles there, which state, in part:

Islamists have established themselves here in US to destroy our democratic system. By doing so they want to achieve their goals of establishing a Theocracy (Sharia or Islamic State). CDT is committed to expose this Extremist Islamist leadership in the United States of America. CDT is committed to challenge the statements, sermons and theories spread by Islamist clergy in the United States that is aimed at creating a hate-filled mind. ... CDT is committed to bring about a change in the radical, extremist and fundamentalist thinking of Muslims in the United States by using the newspaper, radio, television and internet as a worldwide campaign media tool. CDT condemns campaigns of Islamist leadership in the USA to incite violence, promote fundamentalism, and encourage extremism in order to undermine the freedoms in American society.

In just that same vein, Tashbih Sayyed, who started both "Council for Democracy and Tolerance" and Muslim World Today, wrote the following in an article for that publication entitled "Fourth of July - Is America Safe?" saying,

We must realize that the real war to defeat America is not being fought in South Asia, Central Asia or the Middle East, but right here in the United States of America. Our enemies have adopted our ways, our mannerisms, and our language. Understanding our commitment to our values, the enemies of Americanism have become "Americans". They are using our democracy and our freedoms to subvert the very Constitution that is the source of them.

Mr. Sayyed is also reported to have "called himself a Muslim Zionist." Based on what I've read, I have to say that I find this description inaccurate. He wasn't Muslim in any religious sense of the word at all. Based on what I've read, I think it can be reasonably inferred that his religious sympathies, at least, in addition to his political ones, of course, were decidedly Jewish.
Ms. Supna Zaidi is also listed on the Muslim World Today website as being "assistant director of Islamist Watch, a project at the Middle East Forum". She has written on the website for Islamist Watch, that "Islamists are increasingly using lawful Islamism, or non-violent and legal strategies to spread Sharia, (Islamic law) in the West, encroaching on non-Muslim life everyday." The purpose of that organization, which also appears to be controlled by Ms. Zaidi or her family, is to oppose what it sees as that trend.
Hmm. I see I've made answering this question into more of a research project than I'd intended, and have written much more than I'd planned. There's almost enough for an article here, I think, or enough to contribute to multiple articles, anyway, e.g. Muslim World Today, Tashbih Sayyed, Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Middle East Forum. Anyone who has the time or inclination to use any of this for that purpose should feel free. ( We have a "this a minor edit" checkbox; I think I need one that says "this is a major edit" ;-)
Muslim World Today might have a debatably commendable goal in trying to keep extremist elements of Islam from what winning at what it calls "stealth jihad", i.e. from influencing Western society via lawful means in favor of radical Islam. But whether that's commendable or not, it's the captive publication of a pro-Israel advocacy group, not an independent news organization. As such, it's clearly not a reliable source for our purposes on Wikipedia.  – OhioStandard (talk) 18:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Common sense: The site appears to be RS for its fact reporting (as it appears to use AP etc.) - and the opinions of its editor-in-chief are rs for his or her opinions (just like opinions of any editor-in-chief are for any publication). Thus his opinions are not SPS, but are opinion, citable as such. Collect (talk) 18:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I'd suggest that 'common sense' would imply that if they were getting 'facts' from AP, then we should find other sources that use AP too, and get the 'facts' from there. There can be no logical reason to do otherwise. As for 'opinions' on the site, one would have to demonstrate notability for such - the web is full of opinions, but we don't need to quote them all. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Wow that grew quick while I was away...the page in particular which I am questioning is the one I linked to in the intro sentence. That piece was written by the editor- a complete non notable besides his non notable websites that publish his and a few others works. I did not see any AP work, but of course that would be an RS though it would be better to link from a better site that had the same article instead, no? here is what the source was backing.
@ Collect, I have tried to cite opinions from non-notable editors-in-chief before and had other editors delete them an non-RS, so I'm not sure that if someone starts a website, calls themself the chief editor, that their opinions are now allowed on wikipedia. Passionless -Talk 18:50, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
In a word, Collect's assertion is nonsense. Reliable sources don't copy press releases verbatim from the web sites of partisan lobbying groups and present them as their own articles. Any AP story would have to appear in a genuine reliable source before it could be admitted here. And as I outlined above, the person listed as editor-in-chief is also very clearly related to the "owner in chief" of the website, a fact anyone can verify by using web search tools for 30 minutes. If Collect and his sister owned a web site, that wouldn't make his opinions notable or citable just because he gave himself the title "editor in chief" and copied some AP articles to it, nor would Wikipedia legitimize his site by referencing it.  – OhioStandard (talk) 18:56, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like the site is an advocacy site. No need for us to opine about whether it is good or bad here, but just to keep in mind that it should be cited carefully if at all. (We do not blanket ban all opinionated sources, but we do have to be careful about them.) This is of course then not just an matter of WP:RS, but also WP:NOTE and WP:NPOV.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:13, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I certainly agree with the emerging consensus regarding this site. I personally don't feel comfortable with Wikipedia using highly partisan websites as sources that are run by a couple individuals. But is there a conclusion that can be drawn here, or a general principle that can be applied in future instances? Or a specific statement in a relevant guideline or policy that can help us in these instances? We tend to resort to "editorial oversight" but is there something specifically dealing with highly partisan mom-n-pop websites? Or could we propose adding to a guideline a point about the sort of "captive" website that OhioStandard characterizes? If this bears discussion, let's maybe move it to RSN Talk. TimidGuy (talk) 10:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
AP is RS. However that this site has material from AP doesn't affect the reliability of material they have that isn't from AP. Material from AP would preferably be sourced directly from AP. --Dailycare (talk) 16:11, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I just learned that the founder of Muslim World Today and Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Tashbih Sayyed was, until his death, also a board member of Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch group, according to two subpages on that site. Jihad Watch publishes Pamela Geller (one of Spencer's bosom pals) extensively, which should tell you something: Spencer and Geller co-founded Stop Islamization of America, which both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have identified as a hate group. The SPLC hasn't formally named Jihad Watch itself as a hate group, that I could see, but if you search the SPLC site you'll get a pretty clear idea of their opinion of the group.
Muslim World Today appears to me to be nothing more than a skillful black propaganda site. Based on this and on other specific evidence that it wouldn't be appropriate to post here, it's my very strong opinion that the founder of Muslim World Today wasn't Muslim at all, his public assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. He wasn't, imo, what he liked to call himself, a "Muslim Zionist". He was, imo, just a Zionist. I am not using that word in any critical sense, please observe, but merely in a descriptive one.  – OhioStandard (talk) 23:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Reut Institute

A disagreement has emerged on the Talk page of the article Israel and the Apartheid Analogy about the citation of a research report by the Reut Institute in the article (see the sub-section "Reut Institute" on the Talk page). It is cited as one of several sources for the sentence in the main article, "Some critics of the apartheid analogy state that it is intended to delegitimize and demonize Israel and Zionism, applying a higher standard of behaviour to the Jewish state than to other nations or to the Palestinian Authority in order to justify the boycotting, ostracism, or elimination of the State of Israel." (This sentence is near the end of the sub-section "Differences in motivations" under the section title "Criticisms of the Apartheid Analogy," in the main article.) The citation of the Reut Institute article, "Building a Political Firewall Against Israel's Delegitimization: Conceptual Framework, Version A" The Reut Institute, March 2010, p. 11, et passim,, has been reverted several times on the grounds that the material that they produce "seems very modest in terms of quality," is of dubious relevancy as opinions, provides material solely to the Israeli government, and displays "Zionist advocacy." All of these assertions have been rebutted as untrue or, in the matter of Zionist advocacy, as not relevant to reliability as a source in subsequent discussion. Additional challenges to the Reut Institute report are that the Reut Institute is a think-tank, and that the report itself is a conference paper, and therefore, it is alleged, both or either of these mean that the report is of "marginal" reliability. These claims, too, have been disputed as relevant to "reliability." It is also claimed that the Reut Institute, in another publication, endorsed "breaking the law." This as well has been denied. The Reut Institute is according to its website a strictly independent and non-government-funded research institute staffed and monitored by academics and other experts, which, unlike ordinary think-tanks, aims not to present personally authored essays by individual experts, but rather to ascertain and summarize in research reports responsible opinion on topics important to Israeli society held by leading authorities of all sorts, including non-Israeli ones, politicians, academics and media commentators, presenting their views and making recommendations based on them to parliamentarians and government figures to aid in future government policies. The reports themselves are subjected to extensive editorial supervision by a board of academics and other experts. For this specific report, researchers canvassed 100 political leaders, academics, media figures, experts in international relations both in Israel and abroad, people supportive of Israel and those critical of it, of varying ethnic backgrounds and loyalties, taking years to compile the results into this report. The report compilers are themselves people holding advanced university degrees. See the above-cited report, on pages 4-9 of the PDF and elsewhere. For background on the Reut Institute, see There is also a Wikipedia article on it, at The question put here at this noticeboard is: is the Reut Institute report "Building a Political Firewall Against Israel's Delegitiimization" etc., a reliable source for the purposes of this Wikipedia article? Thank you for your help and advice.Tempered (talk) 23:25, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

It would seem to be a reliable source for their point of view. TimidGuy (talk) 10:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree--and because it is being used for its point of view, the "Zionist" assertion is irrelevant as to reliability. Jonathanwallace (talk) 12:48, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
There are a few aspects to this, namely 1) is Reut a reliable source for its own point of view, and 2) if so, should the document be presented inside the ref tag as "The Israel-based Reut Institute discusses what it sees as delegitimization and demonization of Israel in this document", "The interaction of delegitimization, demonization, and double standards is analyzed at length, with bibliographical references, in (doc)", a third option being just to insert it as a source without elaborating as is usually done. The middle option was what was originally inserted into the article, which I feel endorses Reut's view rather than merely presents it. The reason Reut feels fishy in my view is that in an earlier version of the same document Reut endorsed "attacking" and "sabotaging" organizations that criticise Israel. This comes across as promotional (of Israel), and according to WP:IRS such sources can't be used to source information about third parties (in this case organizations that criticize Israel). According to WP:IRS promotional sources can't be used as sources even about themselves when the material is either unduly self-serving or involves claims about third parties. There is also the point that Reut was founded by an Israeli diplomat which feeds into the "is promotional" argument. So the questions are whether to use at all, and then whether to characterize inside the ref tag, and if so then how to characterize inside the ref tag. --Dailycare (talk) 13:28, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but I completely don't see either the WP:BLP or WP:IRS problems in the sentence beginning "Some critics....state..." Jonathanwallace (talk) 14:30, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe anyone raised BLP problems. Let's put it this way: in an article on Pepsi, would you be OK with citing a document from Coca-Cola by saying "Pepsi's harmful effects on health are analyzed in detail, with bibliographical references, in (doc)"? That's what's being proposed here. --Dailycare (talk) 14:55, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The Pepsi Coke analogy is wildly inappropriate. Articles like this one are oompendia of biased sources almost by definition--views of pro-Palestinian individuals and groups contrasted with Israelis and their defenders. Who would count as a neutral soource with no skin in the game? If we try to restrict articles like this to only "neutral" sources there would be nothing left--and anyway, as long as the views are from reliable sources and clearly attributed, source neutrality is not a Wikipedia requirement. Jonathanwallace (talk) 15:39, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree that sources don't need to be neutral, however they can't be promotional or extremist. I take it your view on question 1 is "yes". Do you have an opinion on the other question? (what phrase, if anything, should be put in the ref tag) You mention attribution but could you elaborate on that? --Dailycare (talk) 16:05, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
The vague charges of "promotional" would rule out many sources cited by advocates of the "apartheid analogy" in the article in question. Similarly, many of those pro-apartheid-advocacy sources could easily be called "extremist" by opponents if they wanted to. This does not disqualify them from citation. The Reut Institute, however, is not extremist, indeed it aims to summarize and represent the widest range of responsible opinion on the issues it deals with. That is its "brief," so to speak. In any case, its views in support of Israel in its defense against delegitimization are legitimate in themselves and should not be grounds for rejection of it as a reliable source of opinion in an article giving views on the subject of delegitimization. That would be a strange procedure indeed. Since the Reut Institute source is merely cited in an endnote to support a wider statement in the article that delegitimization is an issue, along with several other citations to other sources making the same claim, in my view there seems no valid reason for tags, reservations or qualifications to accompany its reference, nor any changes to the article sentence itself.Tempered (talk) 22:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with the reference as it is currently handled. Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Jonathanwallace's points. TimidGuy (talk) 11:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Not so sure. It seems to be a thinktank, and while its statements are reliable for its own positions, I can't see that its positions would usually be notable. And it doesn't seem to be a long-established and well-known thinktank either, compared to say the IPPR. I'm sure it can be useful for tracking down other sources or as a host of convenience, and could also be reliable if the author of a piece is an established expert. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Seems like a low-stakes thing as its just one of a string of references supporting an assertion that ""Some critics of the apartheid analogy state that it is intended to delegitimize and demonize Israel and Zionism..." I would let it live for that reason. It would be an entirely different discussion if this was a WP:REDFLAG situation in which an exceptional fact claim was sourced only to Reut. Jonathanwallace (talk) 17:01, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Is a reliable source for the claim in Anti-union organizations in the United States : During the first week of February, 2011, the Internet-based group Anonymous released e-mails which appear to show that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, through their law firm, Hunton & Williams, contracted with three technology firms, including HBGary, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies, to spy on and discredit unions and progressive groups. In a directly related claim is a reliable source for the claim : Palintir received startup funds from the CIA in 2005.[23] Release of the emails appears to have caused the parties to abort the attacks.? Collect (talk) 08:37, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Emptywheel is a blog and is barred under WP:SPS which says, "Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer." Techherald may be reliable; it appears to have permanent editorial and reporting staff, some of whom are paid, and per the "About us" link to have newspaper-like aspirations to provide investigative reporting. The first source should be deleted, and the more careful approach would be to look for more clearly reliable sources for the assertions in the second. Jonathanwallace (talk) 12:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I do not know if it meets rs, but you should use MSM, such as this article in the washington Post. TFD (talk) 16:26, 3 April 2011 (UTC) is clearly a blog and does not qualify as a WP:RS. does state that it has some paid staff; however, it is a very small operation, uses volunteers to generate content, and is quite new (founded in 2008). It is marginal at best. Jayjg (talk) 03:29, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Ancient Astronauts

I've got an editor, User:Warmcocoa, at Ancient astronauts, seeking to cite seeming anything in order to make it a appear as if reliable scientists support the fringe pseudoscientific argument the page documents. Their cites include so far:

  • IMDB
  • psychologists IMDB
  • authors Amazon
  • doctor researchers IMDB
  • Legendary Tmes
  • Wikipedia itself

I dont consider any of these reliable and have tried to explain to them that they are not. I've reached 2RR with them, and they have gone to 3rr to reinsert their stuff. Are any of these cites reliable? And how should I proceed now that they are clearly determined to edit war to keep their fringe POV in the article? Heiro 22:31, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

On the face of it, I doubt that the links given could be used to cite anything significant. I'll take a look at the article though. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:28, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, they seem to have quited down for now. But as you can see from this left on another users talk yesterday after he reverted them, and then their little spree today leaving me with this at my talk, they will likely be back. Any one willing to watchlist and help would be welcomed.Heiro 23:41, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the page should be 'policed' by irrational skeptics that have such a strong opinion against it nor should it be policed by 'lunatics' but by someone who understands the subject and can provide reliable sources.

The truth is there are scientists working on this theory, and I think Heiro being a skeptic, which is fine, doesn't like to see that there are authoritive people working on this theory. I may have provided unreliable references as I am new to wikipedia, but where should I get the reliable sources? I am in contact with various scientists working on the matter, an email won't do.

Also regarding the comment about IMDb I see many pages on wikipedia that cite IMDb pages for references. And Legendary Times is a respected magazine made by A.A.S. R.A. - Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association - see here. Which is a team of archeologist and scientists dedicated to finding reliable evidence and are at the forefront of astronaut theorists. Another important point is that the page says 'according to certain authors' well there is no reference to that, there is no reference that there are only authors working on the matter.

Wikipedia is meant to be a place of reliable information and I people like Heiro are corrupting it. Rather than showing me better sources I can go to get the references (as I am new to Wikipedia editing) he insults me and interrupts other Wikipedia users.--Warmcocoa (talk) 09:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I have provided more reliable sources here which clearly show Dr Michio Kaku supporting the theory, and has reliable references. --Warmcocoa (talk) 10:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I replied to you on the Talk page explaining that you would need to cite statements by these individuals in reliable sources saying they believe ancient astronauts existed. The fact that certain consented to be interviewed for a television show or are cited in a table of contents for a fringe publication is not good enough. To say that Dr. Kaku believes ancient astronauts visited earth you need to show us a really solid source. Please check out WP:REDFLAG which says that 'Exceptional claims require high-quality sources." Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:00, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Seems they have the grave misapprehension that everyone in the credits supports the main points of a film. Dmcq (talk) 10:46, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
The user reverted everyone else multiple times after receiving these answers here and on the talk page and was blocked for 48 hours. Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:34, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century

Communist terrorism (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Is Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century Cornell University Press. December 8, 2005. ISBN 978-0801472732 page 88 by Benjamin A. Valentino a reliable source for the following edit.

"Benjamin A. Valentino has put a death toll of between 45,000 and 80,000 between 1954 - 1975 due to VC terrorism.[1]"

[43] Link to page on G books. For those who may not be able to see it it is a table called terrorist mass killings in the 20th century. And the section says, NLF (Viet Cong) terrorism Communist 45,000 - 80,000 deaths. Tentontunic (talk) 10:24, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Oversimplification - should be NORN not RSN. The issue is how VC terrorism is classified by terrorism experts. Experts such as the one Tentontunic uses for the article, C. J. M. Drake, distinguish between terrorism employed to obtain communist revolution and terrorism employed to achieve national independence or separation. Valentino clearly places the VC in the latter category. "In addition to strategic bombing and siege warfare, powerful sub-state insurgent groups have sometimes used coercive mass killing to terrorize their enemies, typically colonial governments and their loyalists among the native population.,,, Algerian resistance groups relied heavily on this strategy during their war for independence from France.... Communist guerillas in Vietnam also utilized mass terror in their fight for liberation against France and the United States." (p. 86)[44] Wikipedia should not be used to revive the long-abandoned Cold War myth that the Vietnam war was fought against global Communist Terrorism. TFD (talk) 12:51, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I am heartened to learn that you WP:KNOW that "communist terrorism" was a "cold war myth." Unfortunately, Wikipedia has this nasty policy that editors ought not insist on what they know, but only use "reliable sources". I have now Googled "cold war myth" and "communist terrorism." Zero results. (usually almost any combination of words will get one result.) Ah well -- nmaybe you read it in a book? Zero hits. Suppose I lose all the quotation marks -- that should get a lot of hits! [45] is the one which seems closest to your position -- but it says current terrorism is mainly religious, and the reduction in communist terrorism is attributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist ideology. Which rather implies that what you "know" is precisely in line with what Josh Billings said. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:52, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Collect, Google books search for vietnam+"cold war"+myth returns 10,400 hits. In any case, stick to the point. We are not discussing whether to explain that this was a myth, but rather to include it at all. By the way, could you please stop linking to your essay WP:KNOW. Yes I have read it. TFD (talk) 14:26, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I dealt with what you posted. And I responded precisely to what you posted. It is a bit more difficult for me to respond to a moving target which is what you are doing here. You made a claim as to what you know. I pointed out that what you know, ain't so. And I will link to the Wikipedia essay until you show you understand the essay. Google Australia + "Cold war" + myth gets nearly three thousand book hits. Proving absolutely nothing. There are still zero book hits for "cold war" myth "communist terrorism" remotely related to your claim as to what you know. Collect (talk) 15:25, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

This appears to be resolved, the user who believed the source was wrong has realized his error and removed the FV tags. Thanks to all who commented. Tentontunic (talk) 16:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, in this case the text adequately reflects what the source says.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

  • -

Hi, is this site a good enough reference to use for personal details such as date of birth. Off2riorob (talk) 10:30, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Well is it owned by these guys [46] who seem to run a lot of sites. I see no evidence of editorial control on either filmreference or the owners page. I would say no to this as a source, especially for a BLP. Tentontunic (talk) 10:37, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
The lack of an "About" or other informational link from the top page giving any description of staff, mission, approach, etc. makes it impossible to evaluate, so agree it is probably not reliable. Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:40, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, I agree its a weak source indeed to claim specific personal details especially in regard to living people, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 11:42, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia:WikiProject Film/Resources, is "Not a reliable source for article use; use only for research purposes". A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 12:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
No indication of serious editorial oversight or that it meets WP:RS. Jayjg (talk) 03:23, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

WebWombat, DVD Bits,

I would like inquire about the reliability of three separate websites for the purpose of utilizing their reviews of DVDs. DVD Bits seems the most promising, as they appear to have a professional staff [47]. WebWombat holds a possibility of being reliable, but I cannot find a place that lists their reviewers or explains the process (ie, if they are paid staff or user-submitted). Though I may just be missing the obvious. Lastly, I highly doubt their reliability, partially because they don't seem to mention anything beyond the staff's name and interests. But...They do have a staff, and the dated information may be due to the website having shut down a few years back [48]. Thanks in advance, WhiteArcticWolf (talk) 00:48, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your query. It is indeed difficult to get a sense for whether these are reliable sources. On the face of it, there's nothing that shows clearly that these sites have a professional staff and editorial oversight. But I'm not familiar with the standards in this area of Wikipedia and the sorts of resources that are generally considered reliable. I was just looking at WP:FILM. Are you familiar with this wiki project? Maybe you could get some feedback on one of the Talk pages there regarding these sources, Or maybe you'll find guidance among the pages of this project. TimidGuy (talk) 10:49, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the input. Perhaps heading over to WP:Film would be a good decision. I'm used to using their standards, but it becomes difficult when bits of information (paid jobs, positions, reliability, etc.) don't appear to be available. WhiteArcticWolf (talk) 18:29, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Can you give an example of how one of these sources would be used? TimidGuy (talk) 10:22, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
It'd be for reception purposes only. For example, if I took the review of Tron: Legacy; it'd be something along the line of "Richard Gray, a reviewer for DVD Bits, praised the film for its [insert information here], though felt it suffered from [etc]." And nothing more. WhiteArcticWolf (talk) 22:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, take note that DVD Bits does have editorial oversight. In fact, they have several positions beyond reviewer, and Gray has been featured in some reputable sources. This is unlike the other two, who seem to lack such information. WhiteArcticWolf (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
is there some issue with this site? Has it been challenged on a Talk page? Aren't there other reviews in major media that could be used? (I'm just trying to get a clear picture of the situation, partly because I'm unfamiliar with this area. Thanks for sticking with this discussion.) TimidGuy (talk) 10:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I more or less want to make sure that the sites are usable, in case I eventually bring particular articles to a peer review or they become a GAN. I'd like to avoid a potential conflict when that time comes. I definitely would prefer larger outlets, but some DVDs never garnered much attention (especially for anime), and small sites like the ones listed are most of what's available. At this point, I feel inclined to drop WebWombat and However, DVD Bits still seems like a potential candidate. (Thanks for keeping with the discussion as well, especially when it's not a territory you are used to!) WhiteArcticWolf (talk) 19:47, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. That helps clarify the situation. It seems like it could be used. I posted at WP:Film Talk asking for some feedback[49]. Let's see what they say, since this sort of question occasionally comes up at RSN. TimidGuy (talk) 10:41, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think these sites qualify as reliable sources. WebWombat appears to be a search engine and doesn't say where the reviews come from, while DVD Net certainly doesn't comes across as a professionaly run site, and DVD Bits is possibly an enthusiast run site run by volunteers (in the "About us" section some of the profiles mention "daytime" jobs). Secondly, even if they were reliable, notability needs to be established for critical opinion pieces i.e. have their reviews been referenced in other publications? Are they listed at Rotten Tomatoes? Betty Logan (talk) 17:50, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks much, Betty. And thanks for pointing me toward Wikipedia:WikiProject Film/Resources. That's a very useful page that we can refer to in these discussions of RS for film. TimidGuy (talk) 10:33, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

The Thames Discovery Programme's "FrogBlog"

I need a second (or third, or fourth) opinion: Would the The Thames Discovery Programme's "FrogBlog" ( qualify as a RS under WP:NEWSBLOG? At first glance, I'd tend to say "yes" because it seems like a more-or-less official publication of this long-standing group. (They also write very well, not that that matters.) BUT, it doesn't really meet the letter of the criteria set out in the policy.

It was suggested (an Edit Semi-Protected request) that some prehistory of London be added from information gleaned from this site ( and from British Archeology's (

I'm inclined to grant the request but really wanted another pair of eyes to look it over. Anyone?

Thanks! — UncleBubba T @ C ) 21:52, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

The FrogBlog page says "Every FROG member can contribute to the TDP website through blogs and photos of their activities through the FROG Blog." What are the qualifications to become a member, and what kind of editorial oversight is there on the blog? Jayjg (talk) 03:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I am also wondering what it is about the blog that led to this request. This type of announcement should be possible to source from many sources, like the British Archaeology one mentioned above?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
It would be good to know what particular information is being referenced. On the face of it, it seems like a better source could be found. (Not to derail the discussion, but ... since we're discussing archaeology blogs, I've often wondered whether one could use the blog by John Hawks, a leading paleoanthropologist. He will often examine recent research in detail, including citations, as in this post from a number of days ago.[50]) TimidGuy (talk) 10:55, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Timidguy: WP:SPS permits the use of self published material by experts who have been previously published on a topic by reliable third party sources (just not on BLP's). Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:35, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. TimidGuy (talk) 10:26, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, folks! I ran across this while processing Edit-SemiProtected requests. I wasn't going to re-write (or re-cite) the stuff for the requester; I was making sure the sourcing was up to standards before sticking it in. Then a family pet died and I was otherwise occupied. Sorry! — UncleBubba T @ C ) 01:29, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Valentino p88
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